Shark lore

Surge in fatal shark attacks blamed on global warming

Impressive headline! The article has some great shark stories including the following:

New Smyrna Beach, Florida, is called the shark attack capital of the world. It has had more recorded incidents per square mile than any beach on Earth. So far this year there have been 10 attacks on surfers, including three in three days last week, although officials say most of the wounded were able to make their own way to hospital.

‘It’s more like a vicious dog bite, half a dozen stitches, a few bandages, that sort of thing,’ said Scott Petersohn, a captain with the Volusia County Beach Patrol, which covers 47 miles of coastline including New Smyrna Beach.

‘The sharks that inflict the most damage here, the black tips, can be about two or three feet long. There are some bigger ones along our coast, tiger sharks and bull sharks, but there’s a sustainable food supply for them. People are not on the menu for sharks.’

At Solano Beach, California, where 66-year-old David Martin was killed last week by a great white shark estimated to be 4.5 metres long, and off the Mexican coast near Acapulco, where 25-year-old American tourist Adrian Ruiz fell victim to a suspected tiger shark, there were conflicting claims.

Meanwhile, the wildlife protection group Wildcoast has accused the Mexican authorities of ‘international shark hysteria’ over the slaughter of at least 10 near the beach at Troncones on the Pacific coast where Ruiz died. A navy spokesman said a 200-metre line with baited hooks was set up to catch any sharks threatening the beach.

The story gets more interesting when reasons are suggested for the shark attacks.

Some experts suggest that an abundance of seals has attracted high numbers of sharks, while others believe that overfishing has hit their food chain. ‘I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but it’s a convenient excuse,’…. Another contributory factor to the location of shark attacks could be global warming and rising sea temperatures. ‘You’ll find that some species will begin to appear in places they didn’t in the past with some regularity,’ he said

The only problem with the story is that the oceans are actually cooling. Source:http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/may/04/wildlife.climatechange

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