McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Features

August 5, 2013

Yes, they're down there, but shark attacks are quite uncommon

(Continued)

Florida's Brevard and Volusia counties, including tourist hot spots such as New Smyrna Beach, routinely lead the nation in the annual number of shark strikes because they have a a huge number of surfers and swimmers and are in the migration routes of blacktip and sandbar sharks. Together they made up 15 of the 53 recorded U.S. attacks last year, though most of these tend to be minor scrapes since the species there are less dangerous than those found in other areas.

Common-sense precautions — avoiding areas where seals congregate, staying close to shore and staying out of the water around dawn and dusk, when sharks tend to be feeding and water visibility is low — are the best ways to avoid coming into a contact with a shark, experts say.

The shark species that pose the greatest risks to humans are great white, tiger, bull and oceanic whitetip sharks. So the regions of the world where some of these sharks swim — including Australia, South Africa and California, where great whites regularly migrate — tend to have more fatalities. Of the seven fatalities last year, according to the International Shark Attack File, three were off South Africa, two of Australia, one off California and one off the French island of Runion in the Indian Ocean. Despite its small size, Runion has emerged as one of the world's deadliest shark sites: a 15-year-old was killed July 15 off a beach where swimming was prohibited, the second Runion death this year and the fifth since 2011.

Scientists do not know why this number is so high, but George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File, said he suspects human factors are playing a role. Island residents have cut back on shark fishing because of concerns over the toxins in shark meat; Burgess said an increase in global tourism means more people who are not familiar with the island are visiting and swimming there. "Now you've got a great rush of people in the water who don't know the area, and don't know the risks." he said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
NDN Video
Under Armour Launches Biggest Women's Campaign with Inspiring Ad NYPD chokehold death of Eric Garner was homicide: medical examiner Christina Aguilera Pulls a Demi Moore! Man with no arms throws first pitch Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Is Justin Bieber Dating a Model? Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2"
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.