Shark Sighting Closes Waters of Popham Beach to Swimmers Wednesday
A confirmed sighting of a white shark in the waters of Popham Beach results in the closing of the beach by The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.
According to News Center Maine, the shark sighting was confirmed at 5:20 p.m. Wednesday and water access was closed as a precaution with plans to reopen again on Thursday at 9 a.m.
Why So Many Shark Sightings?
More and more sharks have been confirmed off the northeast coast this year and there have been several shark attacks in New York State. Why the increase in sharks and shark attacks?
According to experts from Stony Brook University, the water off the east coast is cleaner than it has been in many years which allows fish to thrive. Fish that sharks love to feed on.
Attacks Are Rare
Despite that shark in the movie Jaws that seemed to attack every human it came in contact with, shark attacks are rare, but there are some things you can do to help minimize your chances of a shark mistaking you for a seal or any other of its prey.
The State of Maine Department of Marine Resources
- If you choose to swim, surf, or paddle, be aware of your surroundings
- Stay close to shore
- Swim, paddle, and surf in groups
- Avoid areas where there are seals or schooling fish
- Avoid murky, or low visibility water
- Limit splashing
- Avoid swimming at dawn/dusk when lighting is low
- Adhere to all signage at beaches and follow lifeguard instructions
What Are The Odds?
If you're still worried about sharks, this statistic from National Geographic might put your mind at ease. A beachgoer has only a one in 11.5 million chance of being bitten. I'll take those odds.