10 ways to rise above plastics

From Surfrider.org’s article,  Rise Above Plastics, and how the ocean is turning into a plastic soup.  Below is one of their public service announcement print ads.  List of 10 and article excerpt follows.

Ten Ways To Rise Above Plastics

Here are ten easy things you can do to reduce your ‘plastic footprint’ and help keep plastics out of the marine environment:

  1. Choose to reuse when it comes to shopping bags and bottled water.  Cloth bags and metal or glass reusable bottles are available locally at great prices. 
  2. Refuse single-serving packaging, excess packaging, straws and other ‘disposable’ plastics.  Carry reusable utensils in your purse, backpack or car to use at bbq’s, potlucks or take-out restaurants. 
  3. Reduce everyday plastics such as sandwich bags and juice cartons by replacing them with a reusable lunch bag/box that includes a thermos. 
  4. Bring your to-go mug with you to the coffee shop, smoothie shop or restaurants that let you use them.  A great way to reduce lids, plastic cups and/or plastic-lined cups.
  5. Go digital!  No need for plastic cds, dvds and jewel cases when you can buy your music and videos online. 
  6. Seek out alternatives to the plastic items that you rely on. 
  7. Recycle.  If you must use plastic, try to choose #1 (PETE) or #2 (HDPE), which are the most commonly recycled plastics.  Avoid plastic bags and polystyrene foam as both typically have very low recycling rates. 
  8. Volunteer at a beach cleanup.  Surfrider Foundation Chaptersoften hold cleanups monthly or more frequently. 
  9. Support plastic bag bans, polystyrene foam bans and bottle recycling bills. 
  10. Spread the word.  Talk to your family and friends about why it is important to Rise Above Plastics!

This is my contribution to #9 and #10.  I am still working on my habits, related to #2 and #4.

Related Links: Lolako article on Bill to Ban Styrofoam (polystyrene) containers in California, and ideas on how to have a special event free of water bottles, or view all post in the category pollution / recycling topics.

We can all do our part to reduce plastic use, and plastic pollution.   Which part of the above list of 10 is the most challenging for you, and why?

Found! U.S.A. farmed tilapia

It turns out you can find U.S.A. farmed tilapia for sale at stores — just outside of the Monterey Bay area.

So far, Lion Supermarket – located on Tully Road in San Jose. is the only store I have seen that offer whole, fresh, U.S. farmed tilapia.  Lion Supermarket products are geared towards the international and Asian community.  They have 5 store locations (mostly in San Jose).

The tilapia is from a company called Desert Springs Tilapia, based in Arizona

How can you tell — aside from 100% trust in your grocer and fish dealers — that your tilapia is from U.S. based farms?

These particular tilapia fish had the Desert Springs Tilapia tags.

U.S. Farmed Tilapia from Desert Springs (Arizona)

And…. just because tilapia fish are marketed as “farm raised”, it does not necessarily mean it is farmed in a safe and sustainable way.  For more about tilapia fish, including Seafood Watch information and ratings, please see my post Tilapia – Top Aquaculture Fish.

For local tilapia sources (Monterey Bay), please see post country of origin for tilapia fish sold locally.

Now that I know more about tilapia, and after reading reports from the Seafood Watch program from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I am only buying tilapia farmed in the U.S.A (best choice), or from countries listed as “good alternatives”.   How about you?

Next up: Plastic Straw Bans

My friend Joselyn sent me this article, from The Atlantic, on the extravagance of plastic straws and efforts by environmentalists in London to ban plastic straws.

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/neighborhoods/2012/05/plastic-straw-bans-are-new-plastic-bag-bans/2013/

Trash and plastics vortex now the size of Texas

Our oceans cover over 70% of the earth’s surface, and provide more than 90% of the habitable area for life on earth.

Our garbage and plastics pollution are now contaminating the deepest of ocean trenches, and plastic trash are now found even in the most remote locations.

Have you heard the latest about the trash vortex in the North Pacific?

Photo from Greenpeace / Alex Hofford: We gathered these items in the Pacific's vast Trash Vortex. The word "Trash" is written in golf balls.

The trash vortex now encompasses an area the size of the state of Texas.  Texas is the second largest state in the U.S.A., after Alaska.

    • Total square miles for Texas is 268,580 .
    • Texas, by square miles, is larger than France (and France is among the largest countries in the European Union – EU).

There is now an estimated six kilo of plastic trash for every kilo (about 13 lbs for every 2 lbs) of natural plankton, swirling around with other garbage, dead fish and marine mammals, and birds who get trapped in this gyre.

That is a lot of trash that WE — our generation — produced, and did not control!

The truly disturbing and sad part is that some of the plastics in this trash vortex will not breakdown in the lifetime of our grandchildren.

We know better now, and everyday, we can do our part to reduce our plastics consumption, to recycle, and to make sure trash does not end up on our beach and out in the ocean.

Related links:

 

Greenpeace article on The Trash Vortex

 

 

 

One woman’s beach clean-up: post from Lola Jane

 

 

 

 

Article “12 Minutes” – the average use time of a plastic bag (and links to local organizations and resources for reducing plastics pollution)

Plastic bag photo from www.saveourshores.org – click here for plastic bag bans resources.

 

Photo by Chris Jordan

 

Link to article “Message from the Gyre” – our plastic pollution affects birds on Midway island.  Images from the Seattle-based, internationally acclaimed photographer, artist, and cultural activist, Chris Jordan

Not the Bananas! More on the ongoing Philippine – China disputes

The latest on the Philippine – China dispute involve Philippine bananas and new, stricter inspections from Chinese ports — resulting in a lot of rotten Philippine bananas.

Chinese authorities claim they found pests in banana shipments coming in from the Philippines.

So…who put those bugs in the banana imports….really?!?

After Japan, China is the Philippines’ second largest market for bananas.

Read more about the impounded bananas — and other Philippine fruits now facing extra quarantine measures and new scrutiny from China, from an article at JapanToday.com (here).

And somewhat related, here is a banana and container port article I posted earlier this year: What’s in the Box

Surfer in training

I am starting my week by participating in the Weekly Photo Challenge: Blue — a blogging experiment from The Daily Post at WordPress.com.

If I had to file every single photograph I own under colors, the top 2 colors would be green and blue.  The green file would contain lush green Philippine scenery and nature photos.  A close second would be a “blue” photograph file. The color blue for me, aside from the blue sky, means the ocean.

Santa Cruz, near where we live, recently received international recognition as a World Surfing Reserve.   Santa Cruz joins just 3 other spots in the world — Malibu, California, Manly Beach in Australia and Ericeira in Portugal — for this exclusive list.  Read more from The Blog Aquatic, here.

This surfing news and the color blue challenge reminded me of these photos I took of my grandchildren Jun and Gabriel watching surfers — including their mommy taking surfing lessons — at a beach in Pacifica (close to San Francisco in northern California).

After a good hour of this, then 3-year-old Gabriel, decided that a waterlogged driftwood would make a nice practice “surfboard”.

What do you think?  He looks like a natural to me, but that is just a lola (grandmother) talking…

Scarborough Shoal disputes: Chinese travel agents suspend tours to the Philippines

China’s news outlets report that Chinese travel agencies are suspending or rescheduling summer trips and tours to the Philippines, due to recent tensions in the South China / West Philippine Seas.

Beijing travel agent Dun Jidong is quoted as saying “Safety is the prime concern in the travel business. We’ve learned there might be anti-China activities in the Philippines, which means a lot of uncertainty. To ensure the safety of our clients, we have suspended all tours to the Philippines. And we will monitor the situation as it develops.”

On Thursday, China’s National Tourism Administration website told Chinese tourists to avoid “unnecessary” travel to the Philippines and warned those who are already there to be mindful of their security.

Anti-China protesters carry placards and shout slogans in front of the Chinese embassy in Makati City on Friday. PHOTO BY RENE DILAN

Excerpt from a Manila Times report:

Maria Victoria Jasmin, DOT undersecretary, said that as of Thursday, 10 tour operators from Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou have cancelled flights to the Philippines…

The DOT said that China ranks fourth in the country’s top tourist market and had an 8.4-percent share in the total visitor arrivals for the January to March, 2012 period or over 96,455 tourists.

Last year, at least 243,137 Chinese tourists visited the Philippines, making up 6.21 percent of the total tourist arrivals.

The Philippine Travel Agency Association earlier said that the country’s top three markets are Korea, the United States and Japan.

During a press briefing, Philippine Malacanang Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said “We are going to certainly assure our Chinese friends of their safety”.

He added “Sa totoo lang, ang dami naman nating mga Chinese dito (the fact is, there are so many Chinese here). You would not know if they are from the mainland or from the Philippines. We have very good relations in terms of cultural exchange and our relations with China have been very good on a cultural level, on a familial level. So there is no reason for our Chinese friends and the Chinese Embassy to worry about the safety of their nationals”.

Monterey Bay and our connection to endangered leatherback sea turtles

The endangered leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is one of earth’s oldest species, and the largest reptile living on our planet.

Exactly how big do these turtles get? The largest known Pacific sea turtle — found stranded on a Welsh beach — weighed 2,019 pounds (916 kg) and was over 8 feet (256cm) long!   That is one big turtle, and bigger than those “smart cars” that many of us have seen on the road.  Smart cars weigh a mere 1600 lbs (731kg).

The Pacific leatherback turtle nests in Indonesia, then migrates all the way to Monterey Bay and other parts of the U.S. West Coast.  They take this 6,000 mile journey to feed on abundant jellyfish in our waters.

Photo: Scott R. Benson, NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center/NOAA website

These turtles are crucial to our ocean ecosystem because the food that they prefer to eat — jellyfish and similar species — actually helps fish in the West Coast thrive.

Why should we care about endangered turtles?

Without these sea turtles to eat and thin out the jellyfish population, too many jelly fish would eat fish eggs, and there would be less fish for other creatures to eat (including fish that human beings eat).

Photo: Scott R. Benson, NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center (from NOAA)

A report from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the World Conservation Union, indicated

  • more than 200,000 loggerhead sea turtles, and 50,000 leatherbacks were accidentally caught in fishing gear worldwide — in one year alone!
  • and, populations of both species have fallen by 80 to 90% over the past decade

We now know that most environmental problems — as well as root causes of recent species extinctions — are due to our actions.

Which means…we have the power to reverse this trend, by learning about endangered species and changing our behavior to conserve these species and their ecosystems.  After all, their ecosystem is OUR ecosystem too.

Photo: Scott R. Benson, NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center

There is some good news for these endangered leatherback sea turtles, at least on the topic of increased public awareness.

A legislative committee is now looking at designating the Pacific leatherback turtle as the official, California state marine reptile.

Excerpt from an article by Jason Hoppin, Santa Cruz Sentinel.

“Until 5 or 10 years ago people had no idea that this was an important foraging ground for leatherbacks,” said Geoff Shester, Monterey-based Oceana’s California program director. “This is raising the visibility of the species so that we recognize and take ownership of what is an important part of the ocean in California.”

In January, the National Marine Fisheries Service designated 17,000 square miles of coastal waters as critical habitat for the giant turtle, stretching from Mendocino to Santa Barbara counties….

“Making the leatherback the official marine reptile will help engage people at sea and on shore in conserving this incredible sea turtle for all time,” said Teri Shore, program director at Turtle Island Restoration Network, the bill’s primary sponsor.    More…

U.S. West Coast critical Pacific leatherback turtle habitat (source: U.S. NOAA)

Our policies, and what we do to protect ancient creatures like these turtles, will ultimately affect our own resources…especially our future food sources.

As a lola (grandmother), I want my grandchildren to know that our generation realized the problems we created, and that we are doing something about it.

Article Update: Great news!  The state of California designated the Pacific Leatherback as the state marine reptile in 2012, and October 15th of every year is designated as Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle Conservation Day.

Related Links:

Turtle Island Restoration Network

Turtle Island Restoration Network is a nonprofit environmental organization based in Marin County, California.

We work to protect endangered marine species, save critical ecosystems, improve consumer choices, encourage government action and inspire corporate responsibility, all to protect marine wildlife and the wild oceans we all rely upon.

 

The U.S. National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Service, Office of Protected Resources.

Information on leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea)

 

The Marine Research Foundation – Malaysia

The mission of the Foundation is to further the understanding of marine ecosystems and functions, and conserve the abundance and diversity of marine flora and fauna through research, conservation and education activities.

Key objectives of the Foundation include promoting the advancement of indigenous understanding of marine ecosystems, the economy and social well-being of communities, and the relief of underprivileged communities which depend on the marine environment.

Experts Identify World’s Most Threatened Sea Turtle Populations - News Release, excerpt:

Top sea turtle experts from around the globe have discovered that almost half (45%) of the world’s threatened sea turtle populations are found in the northern Indian Ocean.

The study also determined that the most significant threats across all of the threatened populations of sea turtles are fisheries bycatch, accidental catches of sea turtles by fishermen targeting other species, and the direct harvest of turtles or their eggs for food or turtle shell material for commercial use.  Click here for more…

Article from the IUCN - The Man Who Saves Sea Turles on Dr Nicolas Pilcher – Malaysia

Nick saves sea turtles. In a nutshell that’s what he does. But he has to look far beyond their nesting grounds to make it work.

“Knowing their biology may be one thing, but working with communities, fishermen and industry to make conservation happen is a whole different story,” he says.  To read the article, link here.

Endangered Species Act – Protecting Marine Resources: Fact sheet (PDF) from the NOAA Fisheries Service

California State Library – History and Culture Page, State Symbols

NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources: Sea turtle education material for kids and teachers.

“In the end, we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand.  We will understand only what we are taught.”
Baba Dioum

Scarborough Shoal Standoff: Strong words from Chinese Vice Foreign Minister

It does not look like the China – Philippines standoff over Scarborough Shoals, and territorial claims over the South China Sea / West Philippine Sea area, is anywhere close to being resolved.

Below is an excerpt from a report today, by Brian Spegele of the Wall Street Journal, with strong statements from the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying:

China said it was pessimistic about resolving a standoff with the Philippines in the resource-rich South China Sea and was prepared for tensions there to escalate further.

The remarks, delivered during a meeting Monday between Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying and Manila’s charge d’affaires in Beijing, Alex Chua, marked a significant uptick in the heat of the rhetoric as relations between China and one of Washington’s closest allies in the region continue to deteriorate.

Mr. Chua was summoned by China’s Foreign Ministry on Monday, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency, as part of a long-running dispute around what is known as the Scarborough Shoal in English and Huangyan island in Chinese, in the southeastern part of the South China Sea. Xinhua said it was the third meeting in less than a month between the two sides.

“It is obvious the Philippine side has not realized that it is making serious mistakes and is stepping up efforts to escalate tensions instead,” Ms. Fu said in a statement on the website of China’s Foreign Ministry. “It is hoped that the Philippine side will not misjudge the situation and not escalate tensions without considering the consequences.”

A spokesman for the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs, Raul Hernandez, said in a statement that the Philippines was taking a “new diplomatic initiative” that it hopes will defuse the situation, but declined to provide details.  More…

And so the Scarborough Shoals standoff and tension continues, and China reportedly now has four government ships in the area — in addition to eight fishing vessels.  The Philippines has one coast guard vessel, and one Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources vessel.

Do you need to catch up on why there are disputes over these South China Sea territories?   Visit the BBC News Q&A: South China Sea disputes, to learn more (e.g.,  possible natural gas reserves and the large amount of natural resources in this area).

Also, here is a link to my original article on the latest flare-up over the Scarborough Shoal area.

Meanwhile, here in the states, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta met with Chinese Minister of National Defense Gen. Liang Guanglie at the Pentagon yesterday, May 7, 2012.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta welcomes Chinese Minister of National Defense Gen. Liang Guanglie to the Pentagon, May 7, 2012. DOD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley

It was the first U.S. visit by a Chinese defense minister in nine years.

Liang has been visiting U.S. military bases and meeting with U.S. military leaders to discuss U.S.-Chinese cooperation in areas of mutual interest.

Excerpt from the American Forces Press Service news article by Cheryl Pellerin:

Liang’s visit occurs at a time when the armed forces of both nations seek to expand cooperation, improve understanding, build trust and reduce differences.

“The United States and China are both Pacific powers, and our relationship is one of the most critical in the world,” Panetta said at a news conference with Liang after their meeting.

“In my meeting with General Liang, I expressed my commitment to achieving and maintaining a healthy, stable, reliable and continuous [military-to-military] relationship with China,” the secretary said, adding that at Liang’s invitation he will visit China within the next few months.

“We share many interests across the Asia-Pacific region and beyond,” Panetta added, “from humanitarian assistance to concerns about weapons of mass destruction to terrorism to drug interdictions to trade to counterpiracy.”

…“As you all know,” Panetta said, “the U.S. Department of Defense recently released a new defense strategy, recognizing that no region is more important than the Asia-Pacific for our country’s future peace and prosperity.”

Liang spoke through an interpreter, describing the purpose of his visit as being “to implement the important agreement reached by President Hu Jintao and President [Barack] Obama on developing the China-U.S. state-to-state and military-to-military relationship.”   More…

Latest on the China – Philippines standoff: Meeting of Philippines Foreign Secretary del Rosario and Defense Secretary Gazmin in Washington D.C.

The Philippines Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin were in Washington D.C. yesterday, April 30th, 2012  to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton and U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.

It was a historic first “2+2″ or bilateral meeting of U.S. and Philippine defense and foreign affairs leaders.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, far right, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Filipino Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, far left, and Filipino Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario pose for an official photo before a meeting at the State Department in Washington, D.C., April 30, 2012. DOD photo by Glenn Fawcett

After the meeting, they made statements for the media, and then took a few questions from the press.

Included in this post are parts of the introduction from Secretary of State Clinton, press questions, and answers from Philippine Foreign Secretary del Rosario as well as Philippine Defense Secretary Gazmin on the Scarborough Shoal standoff, and the Philippines’ position.

Please see the earlier post on this topic for the definition of UNCLOS.

Introduction from Secretary of State Clinton:

…Today we held the first ever 2+2 meeting between the United States and the Philippines, a testament to our shared commitment to write a new chapter in the partnership between our two countries.

With the growing security and economic importance of the Asia Pacific, the United States is actively working to strengthen our alliances, build new partnerships, and engage more systematically in the region’s multilateral institutions.

At the heart of this strategy is our effort to deepen and broaden our alliance with our friend and treaty ally, the Philippines. This alliance is rooted not just in a deep history of shared democratic values but in a wide range of mutual concerns. And today we had a chance to cover a number of them.

First we discussed our bilateral military cooperation. Our alliance has helped keep both of our countries secure for more than 60 years, and it has been a bulwark of peace and stability in Asia. Today the United States reaffirms our commitment and obligations under the mutual defense treaty.

We also discussed steps we are taking to ensure that our countries are fully capable of addressing both the challenges and the opportunities posed in the region in the 21st century. We need to continue working together to counter violent extremism, to work on addressing natural disasters, maritime security, and transnational crime.

 Press Question / Answer:

PRESS QUESTION: Mr. del Rosario, the standoff at the Scarborough Shoal is into its fourth week now. Did you get an unequivocal assurance from the U.S. it will come to the aid of the Philippines if shots are fired? And what was the type or form?

Also, short of shots being fired, how do you see the endgame of Scarborough being played out if China cannot be persuaded diplomatically to withdraw its vessels from the area?

SECRETARY DEL ROSARIO: Those are several questions rolled into one, my friend, but let me begin from your last question.

We do have a three-track approach to endeavoring to solve the problem that we currently have with China in the Scarborough Shoal. It encompasses three tracks.

The first track is the political track. We are pursuing the ASEAN as a framework for a solution to this problem through a code of conduct that we are trying to put together and ultimately approve. Hopefully that will quiet the situation.

Secondly, we are pursuing a legal track, and the legal track involves our pursuing a dispute settlement mechanism under UNCLOS. There are five of them. We think that we can avail of one or two of those mechanisms, even without the presence of China.

Thirdly, we are pursuing a diplomatic approach, such as the one that we are undertaking, which is to have consultations with China in an attempt to defuse the situation.

In terms of U.S. commitment, I think the U.S. has been very clear that they do not get involved in territorial disputes, but that they are firm in terms of taking a position for a – towards a peaceful settlement of the disputes in the South China Sea towards a multilateral approach and towards the use of a rules-based regime in accordance with international law, specifically UNCLOS. They have expressed that they will honor their obligations under the Mutual Defense Treaty.

PRESS QUESTION: My question is for Secretary Gazmin. Secretary, in light of the current Chinese-Philippines standoff in Scarborough Shoal, what kind of assistance have you asked to bolster Manila’s ability to patrol its waters and to deter what you call intrusions?

SECRETARY GAZMIN: Thank you for the question. The assistance we have sought is to help us bring the case to international legal bodies, so that the approach is the legal rules-based approach in resolving the issue in the South China Sea or the West Philippine Sea.

It is worth reading the full remarks after the meeting, from the U.S. Department of State website (visit here).

Secretary Clinton was scheduled to leave for Bejing the evening after the meeting, so it will be interesting to see what develops in the next few days.

It certainly is a sensitive topic for the U.S. – China, as well as Philippines – China relationships, not to mention other countries that have an interest in the South China Sea, and China’s territorial waters claims.

U.S. Coast: Comparison of shark attacks vs. number of lightning fatalities

Over the last few years, there have been shark attacks off a California state-run beach near where we live.  The most recent attack involved a 27-year-old surfer, in October of last year. Thankfully, the attacks were not fatal.

Of course if you stay out of the water, your shark attack chances are zero.  But for those who love spending time and activities in the ocean, and have a  fear of sharks, this post lists statistics and information that should allay your shark attack fears.

Shark photo from U.S. – NOAA website

Background, from the Ichthyology Department, Florida Museum of Natural History:

Of the over 375 different species of sharks found in the world’s oceans, only about 30 have been reported to ever attack a human. Of these, only about a dozen should be considered particularly dangerous when encountered. The shark species responsible for most unprovoked attacks on humans are the white (Carcharodon carcharias), tiger (Galeocerdo cuvier), and bull (Carcharhinus leucas). All sharks, large and small, are however predators and could be capable of inflicting wounds if provoked. They should all be treated with respect when encountered.

The chances of being attacked by a shark are very small compared to other animal attacks, natural disasters, and ocean-side dangers. Many more people drown in the ocean every year than are bitten by sharks. The few attacks that occur every year are an excellent indication that sharks do not feed on humans and that most attacks are simply due to mistaken identity. For more information on the relative risk of shark attacks to humans…click here (shark attack FAQ).

And in case you have not yet heard — at least here in the U.S. — you are more likely to get hit and killed by lightning, than attacked and killed by a shark.

In the last 50 years, there were 1,970 lightning fatalities, compared to 26 shark attack fatalities (out of 974 known shark attacks). I hope that makes you less afraid of being attacked by a shark while playing in the ocean.  After all, that is over 50 years of data!

Details are listed on the table below.

NOTES: California, Florida and Hawaii have the longest saltwater shorelines — and California and Florida are among the most populous states in the U.S.– so it makes sense that there are more attacks (and fatalities) for these states.

Florida’s coastline is 1,350 miles (2,170 km), California is 840 miles (1,350 km), Hawaii is at 750 miles (1210 km), based on large-scale nautical charts.

Coastal United States: 1959-2010

State Period Number of
Lightning
Fatalities
Number of
Shark
Attacks
Number of
Shark Attack
Fatalities
Alabama 1959-2010 109 5 0
California 1959-2010 30 89 7
Connecticut 1959-2010 17 1 0
Delaware 1959-2010 15 3 0
Florida 1959-2010 459 603 9
Georgia 1959-2010 111 10 0
Hawaii 1959-2010 0 97 6
Louisiana 1959-2010 139 1 0
Maine 1959-2010 27 1 0
Maryland 1959-2010 126 0 0
Massachusetts 1959-2010 30 2 0
Mississippi 1959-2010 104 1 0
New Hampshire 1959-2010 8 0 0
New Jersey 1959-2010 68 8 0
New York 1959-2010 139 3 0
North Carolina 1959-2010 193 39 1
Oregon 1959-2010 8 22 1
Rhode Island 1959-2010 5 0 0
South Carolina 1959-2010 98 51 0
Texas 1959-2010 213 32 1
Virginia 1959-2010 66 5 1
Washington 1959-2010 5 1 0

TOTALS 1,970 974 26
Number per Year (average) 37.9 18.7 0.5
 Table Source: Ichthyology Department – Florida Museum of Natural History
Source of lightning data:Lightning Fatalities, Injuries and Damage Reports in the United States from 1959-1994, NOAA. The lightning fatality data was collected by NOAA and originates from the monthly and annual summaries compiled by the National Weather Service and published in monthly issues of Storm Data. The 1995 through 2010 data was tabulated with data from Storm Data.Source of shark attack data: International Shark Attack File, 10 February 2011.

Related Links:

See list of U.S. states by coastlines, here.

Visit the Shark Attack FAQ page, Florida Museum of Natural History

U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Shark Facts: Do sharks eat people?

So did it work?  I know I am less afraid of sharks and shark attacks, now that I have some facts. How about you?