Over the past three weeks seven shark attacks were reported on the coast of North Carolina. This summer seems to be turning into a Summer of the Sharks just like the one in 2001.
The phenomenon does not have a clear explanation. According to the victims the sharks ranged from five to eight feet which made scientists believe that different species were involved in the attacks. According to the David Hallac, the National Park Service’s superintendent on the Outer Banks, they cannot guarantee the safety of the people once they enter the water. He said that the only way to be sure that people won’t be harmed is too keep out of the water.
George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History (University of Florida), said that they cannot deal with the shark part, but they can at least take care of the humans. The beaches along the Outer Banks where the two attacks occurred last month were not closed, but the National Park Service issued a warning which urges people to stay on land.
Moreover two ambulances with paramedics are always prepared and the town is handing out flyers as a way to raise the awareness of the beachgoers regarding the sharks in the waters.
The National Park Service has also suggested people not to swim too far from the shore and also to swim in groups, avoid beaches where there are fishermen and keep away from the sea at night time. Burgess also remarked:
“We’re the ones blessed with the brains. They’re the ones blessed with the teeth, so it’s incumbent upon us to figure out how we’re going to stop having these interactions, at least for the short term.”
Some factors which might have contributed to the increase of the number of shark attacks is the presence of many fish which are swimming offshore and the large number of fishermen who throw bait into the water to capture these fish. Moreover the low rainfall has increased the salinity of the water in the areas close to the shore and since sharks like salty water they are attracted to regions where humans are also present. Besides this is the period of time when baby sea turtles have hatched on the beaches and they are crawling into the sea. This can also lead to shark attacks.
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