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How 'Sharky' is Taiwan?


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Hi I'm going to Taiwan next month and want to get in the sea for some surfing....but the biggest white shark ever caught was caught off the town I'm going to...! How dangerous is it? Do local taiwanese regularly swim there? I know they don't have nets....but they do in Hong Kong even though I can't imagine they need them.

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Thanks Roddy. But yes, I too can do google searches. And have. What that chart doesn't take into account is how many people go into the sea in those areas. For example, the reason places like Florida, California, South Africa and Oz report a lot of shark attacks is because a lot of people go in the sea and go swimming in those areas.

Also, Finning has just been banned in Taiwan, so I suspect that the shark numbers will have spiked. It was a serious question!

I've seen surfing videos from Taiwan too, and no one mentions sharks....but they're definitely there. I just want to see whether people living there are warned away from going in the sea.

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I have been to Taiwan a couple of years ago.

The beaches didn't seem to be very crowded even though there are more than 20 million heads on the island.

I suggest you to visit the tiny island of 琉球鄉 just off the south-west coast. You just take a ferry; it's quite cheap.

There were perfect waves and very beautiful beaches. You'll love it! {^|^}

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Taiwanese don't go into the sea much, as many Taiwanese can't swim and people are afraid to drown.

Finning may be banned in Taiwan (I didn't know that btw, great news!) but rest assured that Chinese fishers may pick up much of the slack. However, from what I understand finning is usually not done from very big sharks, so that may not be of much help to you.

But apart from that, aren't the odds of a shark attack extremely small to begin with, in Taiwan as elsewhere? A lot smaller than, say, being hit by a car?

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I would be interested in knowing, on a per-minute basis, which is more dangerous, driving in Taiwan, or surfing.
According to the numbers in roddy's link, there have been a total of 3 unprovoked shark attacs in Taiwan between 1580 and last year, with the last fatality in 1966. I'd say that puts the per-minute danger of surfing in Taiwan pretty close to zero. But of course, that only takes into account sharks, not much likelier dangers like drowning or hypothermia.
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It sounds like no-one really goes in the sea in Taiwan though. A few things that make me think it might be a bit more dangerous than the stats imply

1. They see a lot of bullsharks in the area (google bullsharks taiwan)

2. They caught the largest great white ever off the East coast

3. The sea off the East goes from shallow to very very deep very quickly, which is the sort of Coast you'd expect to see a lot of sharks.

I'm wondering if it isn't a lot more dangerous than the stats make it look. If most taiwanese can't swim you wouldn't expect many to go in the sea or get bitten by sharks!

I've decided that i'm not going to go in if no one else is in the sea

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It sounds wise not to go into the sea if nobody else goes in. But I think you're overestimating the shark danger. Relatively few Taiwanese go into the sea, but there certainly is some surfing. Presence of sharks (be they white or bull) doesn't equate these sharks biting people. From what I know, the danger of being bitten by sharks is very small to begin with, wherever you surf.

I hope you can find some nice spots to surf and some fellow surfers to surf with!

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  • 5 weeks later...

Although it's an island, Taiwan doesn't really have a lot of pleasant, sandy beaches or good areas for surfing. So hanging out in the surf isn't a big thing here. But fear of sharks -- rational or not -- would be at best a minuscule factor in this.

After searching for "biggest white shark ever caught" I found that this was off Hualian. Is there really surfing there? Most of the surfers tend to be further north (Fulong, etc.) or further south (e.g., Jialeshui).

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  • 5 months later...
  • New Members

If you think there are no surfers in Taiwan then you obviously have not been to the surf beaches here.

I was at one of them this morning and there were 40-50 in the water middle of Nov.

Although the waves are crappy in the summer but you're look at roughly a thousand surfers that visit WuShiGang (烏石港) daily.

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