Shark Wrangler Calls Summer 2012, "Summer of the Shark"
Statement and Warning from Ken, June 15, 2012
For several years now, I have been warning of the dangers of an exploding shark population. That coupled with hot water temps and other variables can lead to a sharp increase in shark attacks on humans. Another factor can be the number of swimmers in the water. So far this month we have had about 6 attacks in less than two weeks JUST IN ONE CITY! It may well be an indicator of many more impending attacks. We did have an early set of tropical depressions that passed through disturbing migratory patterns and some bait activity. Nevertheless, if we see a rise in attacks along the East Coast this month before the summer heat really begins, it could signal a dangerous summer for ocean goers.
Accordingly, I recommend caution in your marine activities. If you take a few common sense precautions, you lessen the chances of an attack by sharks sometimes radically reducing that risk. Please, read my "Avoid" page for more on those. I do not recommend stopping swimming or avoiding the water. Just use extra caution when you see large fins or multiple fins and when you see large bait schools moving down a beach. Use good judgment and be on alert. With the intentional destruction of our shark fishery, shark populations are exploding and they are competing for food. I just saw another two baby sharks that had been attacked by larger sharks.
This is the main reason that I have been vocal and relentless in preaching proper management of sharks. The current federal attempts to shut down the shark fishery are disastrous and will lead to major problems shortly. Banning entire species of sharks that are already on the rebound is leading to a population that is too large. If it swells too much it will lead to the natural correction of collapse due to starvation and a waste of meat that could have been eaten by us. The more certain outcome will be, that once the general shark population reaches a critical level creating too many human attacks, people will turn on sharks once again and call for their eradication. They will be slaughtered rather than harvested for meat. It is far better to maintain a balance between our necessary consumption of shark meat and the maintenance of a healthy breeding population. Unfortunately, this demands real research and not the whimsical, baseless, and stupid policies of certain government agents. It requires real science and the states making the best decisions for their resources rather than a handful of inepts making life altering decisions for the masses. I recommend that the public becomes more vocal at the state level to restructure their fishery management programs and refuse to accept federal funds that are co-opting our state agencies.
Field researchers and fishermen need to be shaping the decisions not bureaucrats in offices that do not understand or care about the environment but blindly pushing Agenda 21 down our throats. I understand that taking this stand puts me on the radar and marks me as a political target, but, truth is truth. I do not care. I was taught to do the right thing and tell the truth no matter the cost. My program of responsible harvesting has cost me a lot of income but it was the right thing to do and I haven't changed my stance in 20 years. So, do the right thing and get involved. Be a force in conserving our natural resources NOT BLIND PRESERVATION that destroys populations and resources.
Make people aware of the precautions they should take when water temperatures are hot and shark populations are large. Harvest what you want to eat and no more. Don't injure and play with sharks when fishing. Release them safely and undamaged when you are not harvesting them. DO NOT feed or bait sharks when divers are in the area or you are diving. Be careful and beware during the
NOTE: A good sign is that these attacks may be locallized to SC. If that remains the case, the rash of attacks was caused by the tropical storms pushing the sharks and bait out offshore. This results in more migration north to NC and sharks that would have settled in chasing migrating bait up to beach to Cape Fear and the Outer Banks. Hopefully this is the case and attacks will not skyrocket across the board.
UPDATE FALL 2012: Multiple attacks were reported locally this summer increasing much higher this season than in the past few years proving out Ken's article and warning above. Ken projects this increase may continue in 2013. View his tips page for ideas on how to try and reduce your chances of a shark attack. Ken is also working on a promising shark repellent. Look forward to that in 2013.
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