Offensive T Shirt at the Aquarium

We’ve just walked through the Aquarium with a group of 19 people – children and adults. The climax of the walk through experience is walking through the Shark Tank. We spent time lying on the floor, watching the sharks swim in circles, schools of fish flashing by. Pretty amazing.

I have been to a field trip with our Tigersharks Surf Club that included a walk though tour on top of those tanks talking to the divers who take care of the massive tanks. Kids were able to ask shark questions – the most asked – “How afraid should we be of seals and sharks?” They gave us great statistics to sooth the parent’s minds. They talked of how closely they work with the sharks in the tanks while they are diving. It was an amazing behind the scenes experience.

For the last three years we’ve tried to get kids to join our Tigersharks Surf Club. We emphasize, physical fitness, ocean education, water safety and surfing skills. We offer gear and the best instruction on the Oregon Coast. The price is low and we fundraise for those who can’t afford it. Our goal is that every kid who would visit the coast – would have a working knowledge of how the ocean works. They’d be prepared and knowledgeable the next time they go out boogie boarding with friends. They’d have the skills and mentors to help them if they want to become surfers. They’d learn about Ocean Education and want to take care of our ocean and beaches. They would just plain ol have fun with their friends.

And the top reason I hear – almost on a daily basis is – “Aren’t you afraid of sharks?” Sure. I’m also afraid of car wrecks, my chimney catching on fire, being hit at an intersection, and eating tainted food.

So the first image I see, after walking through the shark tank is this:


I just stared at it. I couldn’t believe that an aquarium designed to educate children and families would have this image. Is it supposed to be funny? Scare kids away from surfing?

And technically their Final Four is incorrect. There are 10 drowning deaths per day. Water usually wins over water sports. But surfers?

Statistic Brain shares that The estimated population of American surfers (surf at least once a year) is 1,736,000. They estimate that the number of surfers worldwide is 23 million.

This gift shop is located in Oregon – There is not a recorded fatality to shark attack. Since 1916 there have been 19 recorded attacks. I’m friends with about 4 surfers who have had their boards bit, without injury. California is highest with 81 attacks and 9 fatalities. Since 1916 people. The USA – 109 attacks, 13 fatalities. Last fatality was 2012. (Updated July 8, 2014) (White Shark Confirmed Unprovoked Attacks – Ichthyology)

We’ve traveled as far south as Ventura to surf. Hundreds of people in the water. Santa Cruz? Half Moon Bay? It’s an entire coast with hundreds of surfers in the water pre-dawn to post sunset. Here on the Oregon Coast, we have our favorite surf spots. A good sand bar gets created and the water gets a bit crowded.  We surf year round as many days as we can. I can’t say every day – today there is 50-60 mph winds on large swells. Smile I think there are 2 foot waves in the lake right now.

So Sure. If you want to say that Surfers will beat the waves, and sharks will beat the fish, but sharks will always bet the surfers – Ya, any way I look at it, it’s just not funny.

What do you think?

About +Angie Wright

The Transparent Thoughts of an Unschooling Family of Boys - Answering the question - What DO you DO all day?
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2 Responses to Offensive T Shirt at the Aquarium

  1. amos says:

    Gosh, thanks for this post, I had no idea the aquarium that I love had those shirts. I went down there and bought one for each of my grandkids, and 1 for myself. They even gave me a discount because I bought so many. You know, this world needs more people that don’t take everything so seriously, you might want to look into that.

  2. Ann says:

    We saw this shirt in Lincoln City and thought it was funny,which is,I think the point of the shirt. No sharks don’t really kill surfers, but it’s a cute concept that the shark would beat the fish and then the surfer in a competition.I don’t think it’s meant to be taken so seriously.

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