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Shark Attacks in the Red Sea
Janine
Posted: Monday, December 13, 2010 4:42 PM
Joined: 02/05/2008
Posts: 386


According to an article by News.yahoo.com, the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh is experiencing a real-life JAWS situation.  

News.yahoo.com reports, “It began ten days ago when the normally pristine tropical waters turned a murky red, after sharks mauled three Russians and a Ukrainian over a two-day period. With the world-renowned snorkel and dive center heading into the holiday high season, local governor Mohammed Shosha closed off the beaches for fourty-eight hours, during which time the authorities killed two sharks. He then declared the all clear and reopened the beaches. But within twenty-four hours, in keeping with the Jaws story line, it became brutally clear that Shosha had been wrong: a German woman standing chest-deep in the water was killed by another shark.”

 

The terror didn’t stop there. Over six days, five swimmers were attacked by sharks. That compares to just six attacks over the previous decade in Egypt, according to the Global Shark Attack File, a scientific archive that documents shark attacks worldwide. And at least six of those 11 incidents are believed to have involved the solitary oceanic whitetip - a shark species that doesn't usually rank among the top killers. More startling still is that the clear, coral-rimmed waters off Sharm el-Sheikh aren't exactly shark central,” reports News.yahoo.com.

News.yahoo.com says that scientists and government officials claim that at least two of the five attacks were committed by one shark. “A lone ‘serial attacker,’ says shark expert George Burgess, one of three American scientists flown in to find answers. “This is a really unusual event - not just because they occurred so close to each other in such a geographic space, but because of the fact that we can actually say with certainty that one individual shark was involved in two of them without fail,” he says. “That has not been documented before.”

 

Yahoo posted this story on Friday, December 10, 2010, almost two weeks after the attacks began, but the mystery has yet to be solved. “Scientists are still scratching their heads as to what motivated the rampage. They say there has never been proof of a shark acquiring a taste for human flesh, but there are no absolutes in science. They say the serial-killer shark is a member of a migratory species that often travels dozens of miles in a single day. But it could still be lurking in the same waters,” reports News.yahoo.com.

 

There are a number of theories as to why these shark attacks have occurred. Climate change, over-fishing, sheep carcasses dumped in the vicinity, luring sharks to the area are just some of the explanations that have been proposed by everyone from locals to scientific experts.

 

“The question is whether the sharks involved in the latest attacks will return to the waters off Sharm el-Sheikh. ‘These are open-ocean sharks that are living in an environment that is food-poor,’ says Burgess. ‘So when you do find food, you darn well better take advantage of it. Do they remember things? Sure, they remember where the good places to eat were, and they'll come back,’” quotes News.yahoo.com. “But he cautions against overanalyzing, because sharks are still just big predators with little brains. ‘They're not connect-the-dots kind of animals,’ [Burgess] says. ‘They're basically swimming, sensory machines.’ Sometimes, a killing spree, however rare, could be explained by little more than a convergence of the right variables. ‘Sometimes we make mistakes, sometimes they make mistakes. And sometimes we just happen to be in the wrong place at the right time - for them.’”

Read the full story here.


Nick Coombes
Posted: Tuesday, December 14, 2010 10:11 PM
Joined: 06/05/2010
Posts: 9


Sharm El Shek has made a lot of money from the Sharks over the years, mainly though Dive tourism.
They will now need to pony up for shark netting around the swimming beaches, or risk loosing it all!!
Australia has found ways of handling this problem, so i am sure the Egyptians will, eventually.

Capt.AdG
Posted: Tuesday, December 14, 2010 11:20 PM
Joined: 15/02/2009
Posts: 13


I am diving the Red Sea since 1977 from Egypt to Sudan … there were always sharks around n these waters – and there always will be! When I started diving the Red Sea, shortly after “the pioneers” like the Calypso team of Jacques Cousteau and Hans Haas, tourists were still far away from destroying this under water paradise. There were different shark attacks during these years on the news … but fortunately we did not have Internet and Social Networks to spread global panic and paranoia….!!!! The scenario is changed during these years! … Today divers go under water to get “The Kick” … the “Adrenalin Kick” only 15 hours experience with an “advanced open water license” and here you go with a low rate flight to the ultimate dive scene, all inclusive with lobster dinner and air condo room, inn house casino and all inclusive drinks. … shark contact and feeding guaranteed! I have a recent home made movie made in 1996 when we were surrounded by a group of five adult Carcharhinus Longimanus during a dive at Shab El Erg … nothing happened! We just could enjoy the majesty of these perfect and beautiful predators taking their circles around us! Well, these sharks usually are shy, and do not come close to shore. (…) I remember diving among a Hammerhead shark family with at least 30 members on the east side of El Akhawein (Brother Islands), I remember the “worse” of my contacts at “Wadi Gimal” in the south of Egypt … I am not sure but it looked like a Tiger Shark … huge and scary … but I never felt threatened by these creatures. My job brought me later to the Bahamas. I dove Bahamian and Caribbean waters with my, at the time 13 years old son. We had many visual contacts with Reef , Bull and other sharks. I used to dive and watch the “shark feeding” organized by local Resorts, working for one of the Resorts. I used to spare fish with local guys in the Bahamas every day I lived there for over three years … whenever we had too many sharks around, we went for Lobster or Conch. I never felt locals panicking about sharks! I used to live for a short period at Sal in the Cabo Verde Islands, famous for Tuna and ….Sharks. There I saw “White Tip babies” close to the beach! Well, people still swim, surf and enjoy there. So I did. Reading recent news about shark attacks increasing everywhere I can only say that it looks like an “orchestrated paranoia” to me. But there is a point! - Shark feeding is not good! – because WE do it, and sharks in the area start to relate food to humans. - Building into the sea is not good! – because doing so, species are migrating or extinguishing and sharks and other predators need to find new/alternative feeding source and consequently will adapt to new sources … (as humans for example… no! they are just “tasting the flavour”) People should know that we (humans) are not on the Menu chart of any shark! A shark can bite you … but will definitely “spit” you out after tasting your blood! There is also a theory about that human blood is not easily digestive for sharks. No comment … I would eat anything to survive! Sharks can feel the frequency of your “fear or pain” with his “Ampullae of Lorenzini sensors” like a dog … have you ever noticed that a dog will easier bark or attack you if you are scared? Sharks do not attack for hunger, they actually can stay for long time/several month without feeding! Unfortunately the bite of a shark is so powerful, that on his “trial bite” he will bite you unwilling so hard and probably deadly. Conclusion? Maybe and hopefully there will be less divers in the Red Sea this year. The Red Sea is the worlds best dive site and has to be protected. I am sure the “real divers” will understand and happy to pay more to dive there and keep this area clean and safe from destructive economic abuse. Schools and resorts will have to learn to keep a balance between business and nature.
Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 4:22 AM
well lets see... less food in the sea for sharks + more humans swimming in the sea = more shark attacks.
 
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