Sharks and humans are increasingly near each other, but almost never noticed. A team of biologists from California’s Long Beach University found that 97 percent of the times a person was in the water at two of California’s most popular beaches, there was a shark nearby. Usually these were white sharks, which are not aggressive toward humans.
Researchers analyzed hundreds of hours of video taken from drones flying along California beaches. They found that sharks, especially young ones, tended to swim much closer to shore than previously thought. Sharks come within 50 to 100 meters of the shore. When sharks and humans are in close proximity, humans do not seem to notice it.
Shark attacks on humans are extremely rare. During the entire period of research, there was only one case where a shark attacked a person in the locations where the survey was conducted. In total, there have been 20 attacks on 26 beaches since 2000. Scientists note that the number of such cases is not increasing, despite the fact that more and more people are going out into the ocean and the number of sharks living in the area is increasing.
Why aren’t sharks attacking people? Scientists have concluded that sharks simply do not consider humans their prey. Sharks prefer fish and other marine animals. In addition, humans are not like sharks’ natural prey: They don’t swim fast and don’t have a fat layer to protect them from being bitten.
However, if a person violates the rules of behavior in the sea, such as feeding sharks or swimming in areas where shark attacks are known, the risk of encountering a shark will increase significantly.
How do I protect myself from sharks?
There are several ways that can help reduce the risk of a shark attack:
– Avoid swimming in areas where shark attacks are known.
– Don’t feed sharks or attract their attention.
– Do not dive into deep water without equipment.
– Use protective equipment, such as special suits or masks.
– If you spot a shark, don’t panic and don’t try to swim fast. Try to swim slowly to the side.
Although sharks and humans live side by side, they can co-exist safely if people follow the rules of conduct in the sea and do not disturb the balance of nature.