Shark attacks increased in New York

Six shark attacks occurred last month along New York’s Long Island coast, the first since 2018 when two occurred during the entire year. The people with very light injuries came out, but the number of attacks prompted Governor Cathy Hochhol to do so Increased controls over the presence of sharks Near the beaches: According to the Florida Museum of Natural Historywhich has been collecting data on shark attacks worldwide since the 1960s, there were only 12 in upstate New York before 2022, including four in the past decade.

He explains that for those who are involved in the defense of the environment and other animal species, there is good news article from The Wall Street JournalIf the number of sharks increases, it means that efforts to protect their populations and protect marine ecosystems are working.

In particular, the revival of sharks was supposed to contribute to an increase in the number of sharks American sardines (Brevoortia tyrannus), a species of fish whose population along the western coasts of the United States decreased dramatically in the early 2000s. The American sardines then returned to growth after the introduction of fishing restrictions in 2013.

Chris Paparo of the Marine Science Research Center explained that even greater clarity of coastal waters, made possible by reduced pollution, may have contributed to the increased number of shark attacks, because “sharks do not live in polluted waters.” from Stony Brook University.

The shark species that live near the coasts follow the shoals of sardines and other fish to the beaches, where swimmers and surfers can be found in the summer. Added Enrique Cortes, a biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the US federal agency that deals with meteorological climate. In fact, attacks occur when sharks mistake a person’s arms or legs for a fish.

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Robert Hetter, Principal Investigator at Ocearch, an organization that estimates the size of populations of marine species, explanation for The New York Times That after shark populations declined by as much as a tenth between the 1970s and 1990s, depending on the species, they are now recovering. However, it is still a long way from how many sharks there were in the 1950s and 1960s: “Those who weren’t there think there are more sharks today than ever before, but in reality the ecosystem is still recovering.”

Huetter also added that as water temperatures rise due to climate change, the sharks are moving north.

The sharks involved in the attacks on Long Island were likely small bull sharks (Carcharias Taurus), whose lengths in adults range from 2 to 3 meters; No attack on humans by sharks that was fatal has been recorded. Their appearance can be intimidating, but their teeth are suitable for catching small fish.

Other species that may have participated in recent episodes are gray sharks (Carcharhinus plumbeus), which can reach 2.5 meters in length and are in danger of extinction, and brown sharks (Carcharhinus obscurus) which reaches a height of 4 meters in adults. However, attacks on people are usually carried out by small sharks, which are easy to confuse with their small size.

On the other hand, it is not possible that they had anything to do with the attacks of white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias), the world’s largest predatory fish, made famous by the movie Sharks and its dependencies. None were seen near Long Island. On the other hand, they can be seen in the north, About Cape Cod, Massachusettswhere, however, there were no attacks.

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In the whole of 2021, there were 73 unprovoked shark attacks in the world, According to the statistics of the Florida Museum of Natural History, which confirms that “a very low number, given the number of people who visit beaches and seas every year.” In short, shark attacks on humans are rare; On average between 70 and 80 per year. However, we should always remember that sharks in general do not target people: “Otherwise we would get 10,000 shark bites a day,” said the director of the Florida Shark Research Program, Gavin Naylor.

To be safer to avoid, when going to sea in areas where there are sharks, it is advisable to avoid swimming at dawn and dusk, that is, at the moments of the day when sharks go hunting. It is also advised to stay away from groups of fish and not to wear shiny things that may attract sharks.

Of last year’s attacks around the world, 9 were fatal.


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