After the recent large number of shark attacks in North Carolina government officials are concerned about what might be causing this phenomenon. There have been seven shark attacks in North California which makes it an all-time record for the state. The last attack occurred on Wednesday.
Sharks are usually shy and do not come near people. George Burgess, the director of the International Shark Attack File at Florida Museum of Natural History, has some theories about why sharks are coming so close to the shore where there are swimmers. Since it is a warm year there is a low-level drought in the regions so the level of salinity of the waters has increased and sharks are attracted by salty water.
Another factor could be the presence of menhaden, a species of forage fish. This species has been abundant in the area this year which could have made sharks come to this area. In addition some fisherman throw bait in the water near the piers and this could also lure the sharks closer to the shore. In fact two of the attacks occurred within 100 yards of a pier.
According to Burgess these factor combined could be the formula for shark attacks and could explain the shark attacks which happened in only three weeks. He also said that it would not be a good solution to round up sharks, but instead a better solution would be for the government to close the beaches where multiple shark attacks occurred at least for a couple of days or for the beachgoers to keep out of the water.
In spite of the recent shark attacks researchers say that sharks are not such a dangerous threat for humans in comparison with other forms of wildlife. Bees are a lot more dangerous and even swimming itself can be life-threatening even though there are no sharks around.
David Shiffman from the University of Miami’s R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program said:
“Any injury or death is a tragedy, but the chances of being bitten by a shark is still a rare occurrence. Thousands of Americans drown when they’re vacationing by the beach. Only one dies a year due to a shark.”
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