According to Dr. Daniel Bucher, a shark expert from Southern Cross University, sharks do like the taste of humans, but they do not like to fight.
“Normally they eat fish, but they don’t mind red meat if they can get it,” he said.
“Seals have very red meat (like humans) from oxygen binding proteins in the blood
“Great white sharks feed on seals.” He told the Logan Reporter.
The old adage that sharks don’t like the taste of humans could be due to the fact that they when they do bite a human, it’s normally a hit and run. He suggests that it could be more likely that the sharks do not like to fight.
“They are trying to work out if it’s [the prey] alive, whether it will fight back,” he said.
When humans are bitten, they instinctively kick and punch. Sharks are not use to this and swim away. The shark’s natural reaction could be the risk of injury does not outweigh the possibility of food. Plus humans are extremely bony, unlike fat seals.
Sharks “are scavengers. In flood times they will eat any carrion (decaying flesh of dead animals) that washes down.”
“Sharks don’t mind. To them it’s just food,” He said.
Natural prey items like seals and sea turtles do not have the ability to fight back.
The odds of being bitten by a shark are extremely slim and you are more likely to be injured on the way to the beach, than at the beach. However, should you ever be bitten by a shark, the best thing to do is to fight.
“Act aggressively, swim at it, attack it,” Dr. Butcher said.
“It might be enough to put it off.”