The Washington Times-Herald

Community News Network

July 30, 2013

Yes, they're down there, but shark attacks are quite uncommon

(Continued)

This summer, eight great whites already have been spotted off various Cape Cod beaches, though some of the sightings may involve the same shark. The National Park Service just issued precautionary guidelines for Cape Cod swimmers.

Skomal has been tracking great whites off Cape Cod for years: He and his colleagues tagged five in 2009 and 17 in 2012. The probable reason for the increase is a resurgence in the seal population, which has been recovering over the past four decades since enactment of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which outlawed a kind of hunting that caused the seals' precipitous decline. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates that the seal population in the western North Atlantic has increased by tens of thousands over the past few decades.

"I fully anticipate that the white sharks will continue to take advantage of this resource," Skomal said, noting that half of the sharks tagged in 2011 came back to the areas where they were tagged the following year. (Researchers use a few different tags, including acoustic ones that rely on radio transmitters and satellite tags) "Everything is clicking for [the sharks] and the cafe is open for them. They will continue to take advantage of that."

A spate of shark strikes in 2001 that claimed the lives of swimmers — including two in the Mid-Atlantic, 10-year old David Peltier off Virginia Beach and 28-year-old Sergei Zaloukaev off Cape Hatteras, N.C. — earned the season the nickname "Summer of the Shark." Zaloukaev was the last person to die from a shark bite in the Mid-Atlantic. (His girlfriend was bitten also but survived.)

Still, there have been nonlethal events. Last month, 63-year-old surf instructor Barbara Corey was bitten off Holden Beach in Brunswick County, N.C., the first Mid-Atlantic shark strike this year. Last year there were two, both in North Carolina, where 6-year-old Brooklyn Daniel was struck off Brunswick and 33-year-old Megan Konkler was bitten off Nags Head Beach.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Inequality crisis shot with factual problems, hypocrisy

    President Obama, various media and political liberals say inequality, of all things, is the defining issue of our times. Yet this message is delivered by multimillionaires and a president who jets from tee time to stump speech on the taxpayer's dime.
     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 25, 2014

  • Has the iPad lost its swag?

    July 24, 2014

  • Facebook continues moneymaking trend

    Facebook seems to have figured out - for now at least - the holy grail for all media right now: how to make money selling mobile ads.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police Brutality screen shot. Technology plays key part in battling police brutality (VIDEO)

    Allegations of police brutality are nothing new -- as long as there has been law enforcement, citizens have registered claims that some officers cross the line. But in the last few years, the claims of excessive force are being corroborated with new technology from cell phone cameras, police dash-cams and surveillance videos. 

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona's prolonged lethal injection is fourth in U.S. this year

    Arizona's execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood marked the fourth time this year that a state failed to dispatch a convict efficiently, according to the Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal group.3

    July 24, 2014

  • Almost half of America's obese youth don't know they're obese

    The good news is that after decades of furious growth, obesity rates finally seem to be leveling off in the U.S.. The bad news is that America's youth still appear to be dangerously unaware of the problem.

    July 23, 2014