"As utilization of high-quality surf breaks rises in response to lower levels of shark activity around them, surf gangs are expected to become more tenacious and intense," say academics.
There is a saying in academia that professors must “publish or perish.” Meaning that to gain tenure one needs to have their research published and published often.
A major criticism is that the quality of scholarly work has declined in favor of quantity.
A recent study in the journal Sustainability found that surf spots with the highest levels of shark activity are less crowded than spots that have less shark activity. Specifically, “surf breaks in California that are associated with the highest levels of shark activity tend to be less congested, perhaps by as much as 28%, than their counterparts that are visited less often by sharks.”
I’m going to ask you to please suspend your disbelief because this finding is based on rock solid data.
The researchers explain, “Each variable is constructed by scientists at Surfline.com, arguably the premier website for information on surfing conditions at surf breaks around the globe. The ratings provided by Surfline.com are based on travel reports produced by experienced surfers who have visited each surf break. These describe conditions at each surf break, including congestion, wave quality, accessibility, water quality (dirtiness), ocean floor conditions, and shark activity, among others.”
Read: they went onto surfline.com (prior to its recent revamping) and copied down the travel information (what the researchers labeled “water quality,” Surfline called “poo patrol”).
I know this is a lot to take in all at once, but if you aren’t completely blown away by the study’s findings, then read its implications.
“The results presented in this study have implications for the relatively recent decline in the populations of large sharks at surf breaks worldwide… As utilization of high-quality surf breaks rises in response to lower levels of shark activity around them, surf gangs are expected to become more tenacious and intense, ceteris paribus, in their efforts to exert informal property rights over the surfing commons.”