|I say funny because those esteemed men should have known better than to say there were no great whites in California. Or, to say blue sharks and hammerhead sharks are harmless. Chamber of Commerce propaganda...
Shark Stories Held Fictions — Man-Eating Variety Absent From Local Waters —
Recent Report of Experts is Basis of Statement — Attacks on Swimmers Purely Munchausen Tales
Fishermen merely laugh, but experts and Southland boosters scowl at reports of man-eating sharks and guns to keep them away from the recent Catalina Island swimmers.
Because, there are no man-eating sharks or any other ferocious fish in these waters!
At least three of the greatest authorities on California fish say as much. They are Dr. David Starr Jordan, Dr. Barton W. Evermann, curator for the Academy of Sciences at Golden Gate Park, and Dr. Charles F. Gilbert, recently retired from Leland Stanford University. They recently completed the classification and identification of all game and commercial fish in California waters, after investigations covering years.
Such authority is cited by Roy Beaton, secretary of the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce to counteract stories deemed damaging and untrue that swimmers of the Catalina channel are being terrified by the monsters, and guns from escorting boats have been brought into play.
Half a dozen species of sharks thrive here, but of such harmless kinds as the blue, bonito, shovelnose, leopard, dog and hammerhead, according to H. B. Nidever, in charge of Terminal Island laboratories for the California Fish and Game Commission.
Police and hospital records also fail to disclose a single victim ever attacked by anything but stingrays and little octopi, now retreating from the beaches before the advancing hordes of bathers.
Southern Californians are not fooled by such canards, according to Beaton, but the fabrications about man-eating sharks is bad California doctrine for the rest of the world that some day hopes to frolic in the Southland’s waves.
—Los Angeles Times, September 11, 1926
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