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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Shark Attack

If you have ever been in the ocean the thought has crossed your mind that a shark could be swimming nearby. If you have ever watched Jaws or Soul Surfer or any other shark attack related movie you have always had the thought in the back of your mind that a shark is lurking nearby. But for a majority of us we will never be attacked by a shark or possibly even see a shark, but for swimmers and surfers in Hawaii the fear of a shark attack has recently been escalated. In 2013 Hawaii had a record amount of recorded shark attacks, 14 to be exact, two of which resulted in fatalities. Both of these fatalities were in the area of Makena State Park on the island of Maui. Also both fatal shark attacks occurred with tourists, one a German snorkeler and a Washington state kayak fisherman. This fear for tourists could be harmful to Hawaii's economy considering that a majority of their economy is comprised of tourists. Although in years prior when shark attacks first started to increase it did not seem to affect tourism, it is still a major concern for local business owners. It is not yet certain why exactly the number of attacks has spiked, theories include radiation from the tsunami in Japan that pushed sharks closer to land and that increased numbers in sea turtle population has given sharks more to hunt, however, neither of those theories are confirmed. Whatever the reason for the increase in attacks one thing is for certain, the more kayakers, paddle boarders, and swimmers in the water, the more likely to see a negative result. Some Hawaiian locals also say it is all about respect. By invading a sharks natural habitat you are showing threat to the shark which can also have negative consequences.

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