A total of eight people were killed by sharks off Australia this year, compared to none in 2019. Leonard Guida, a shark ecologist with the Australian Marine Conservative Society, suggested that this could be due to changes in water temperatures.
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, he said, “What we know about the way many marine animals work, especially fish, is that they move with water temperatures.
“So we see a lot of fish, including some sharks, that are used to swimming in warmer waters. . . When climate change happens and water temperatures rise, they move to warmer areas.
« What we may see are certain species that actually hang around a bit longer due to warming temperatures in certain areas, and those areas may or may not overlap with the beaches we find popular. ”
Of the eight Australians who died, six were killed by confirmed or suspected great white sharks.
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Another was attacked by a suspected tiger shark while the species was not identified in the eighth attack.
He said, “It’s a bit of a streak in terms of statistics, and the reasons for it could very well be tragic bad luck.
« If we look at the shark bites over the past six years, the average number of shark bites has more or less remained. ”
Australia recorded one fatal shark attack in January, April, June, September, October and November.
Mr. Guido called for « more education about the ocean and how sharks interact with the ocean » to prevent attacks.
He stated, “This will allow us to be better informed about the risks we would like to take with any water-based activity. ”
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The number of people who survived shark attacks off Australia has also increased significantly this year.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Gavin Naylor, an evolutionary biologist, said, “Fortunately, our medical response times and monitoring are getting much better so we’re actually saving more. ”
These include shark nets on beaches, drone monitoring and listening stations for recording sharks that have already been tagged.
Earlier this year, New South Wales (NSW) Secretary of Agriculture Adam Marshall urged Australians to be “shark smart”. .
He commented, “The New South Wales government is anticipating an influx of tourists to our coastal communities this summer for a well-deserved break, and our priority for swimmers and surfers is their safety in the water.
“This is why the New South Wales government has allocated US $ 8 million to the NSW Shark Program 2020-21 to use the most effective methods to protect beachgoers from sharks. This is supported by five years of scientific research. ”
Most fatal shark attacks on humans involve either white, tiger, or bull sharks.
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