Join us fellow Travel Freak’s as we dive into the mysterious world of sharks on this Wild Wednesday to find a Cyclops shark, beach safety tips, and research on these misunderstood creatures of the sea.
(photo via Melody Schubert)
Mention the word shark, and the first thought that comes to mind is – man eater. Actually, sharks prefer seals to humans, although, we’re often mistaken for their prey.As many divers and swimmers know, the population of the great white sharks is increasing along East and West Coasts of the United States. These predators were in serious decline in the 1970’s and 1980’s until state and federal regulations were established in the 1990’s. These regulations not only protected the great white sharks, they also protected many of the species of marine mammals that great whites feed on.Among the places with an increase in sightings of sharks is the New England region, where there is a thriving seal populations.
Though the number of shark sightings has increased, they are not necessarily presenting a bigger threat, as there has not been a shark-related death in New England since 1936. LaCrosse also attributes many of the shark sightings to basking sharks, which do not eat mammals and present no threat to humans. However, their dorsal fins resemble that of great whites which raises fears among beach-goers.
The Discovery Of A Cyclops Shark
Safety At The Beach – Watch For Colored Lifeguard Flags
Great White Shark Research
To learn more about the mysterious world of sharks researchers have begun tagging great white sharks.
In July the nonprofit shark research group OCEARCH, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) began the most ambitious great white shark-tagging mission undertaken in history.
During the initial tagging, researchers drew blood and tissue samples to test their health and diet, and also attach GPS tags to track their swimming patterns. These measures are being taken by these groups to understand the elusive great white sharks, and to educate the public on their importance to the ocean.
Discover More About Sharks
Wild Wednesday Facts
- If you are afraid of sharks, don’t go swimming in Fiji! Namena Reserve, located off the southern coast of Fiji’s second largest island, is a protected space for sharks with strict no-fishing laws. As a result, the shark population is thriving. You can find up to four times the amount of sharks in the Reserve as compared to non-protected zones.
- Although it’s presumed most shark attacks on humans usually only occur because sharks mistake swimmers for seals or other tasty marine life, a Australian company is looking to decrease that risk by creating anti-shark wetsuits to help protect swimmers and surfers from attacks. The “Diverter” wetsuit is colored with black and white stripes, to mimic poisonous fish that also sport that pattern. The “Elude” model uses blue wavelike patterns to camouflage swimmers within the water. While they can’t be proven to deter shark attacks with any certainty, the company is continuing to test them in shark-infested waters.
Have you had a shark encounter?