The warm crystal clear water beckons beach goers for a swim on a 90-plus degree day, but locals won’t venture into the surf because they know what lurks just a few feet offshore. A brave tourist has been known to chance it on occasion despite the highly visual signs warning you not to swim, according to Yahoo News on June 30.
The water off the beaches of Recife in Brazil are riddled with sharks, which renders this city with the highest shark-attack rates in the world. 56 shark attacks, with 21 fatalities between the years of 1992 and 2012 are stats that are scary enough to keep even the biggest of risk takers out of the pristine water.
The water becoming saturated with sharks is a modern-day phenomenon because before the 1990s not one shark attack was reported. So why have the sharks taken up residence in these waters? It is not just one species of shark that have set up home in these waters, there are a number of different kinds.
The BBC News addresses this mystery with a scientific theory on why there’s been a sudden influx of sharks in Recife. They report that Port Suape was built in the city which entailed a massive dredging operation. This construction also entailed erecting long docks that stretch out into the ocean.
The building of this port, which took place in the ‘80s, disrupted the hunting and breeding habitats of the bull sharks, which in turn brought them closer to shore in Recife. The port brought shipping vessels which discarded their trash overboard, attracting the tiger sharks.
Couple the new food source with the high frequencies given off by the motors of the vessels coming in and out of port, this is a perfect invitation for the sharks. To battle the sharks without harming or killing them, a tag and release program was started to monitor the sharks, which has been successful.
According to Yahoo, this is the best the officials can do without harming the sharks or doing away with Port Suape. The results of that program were described in a 2014 paper written by Dr. Fabio Hazin, a professor at the University Federal Rural de Pernambuco. He published his findings in Animal Conservation.
According to that study Hazin concludes that “After 10 years of research, we came to the conclusion that shark culling is not necessary to mitigate shark peril off Recife.” Killing the sharks is not the way to go, it appears the tagging, releasing and monitoring of the sharks will eventually let both sharks and humans coincide.