How to Minimize Meeting up With Sharks

Sharks, you are in their territory when you go into the ocean. Minimize your chance of meeting up with sharks by going through this checklist and following the recommendations as much as possible.

Steps

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    Keep as little of your body in the water as possible. Swimmers, spear fishermen, wading fishermen, body boarders and short board surfers are more vulnerable than long board surfers, stand up board paddlers, kayak paddlers, jet skiers, kite boarders and windsurfers.
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    Restrict you water activities to where there are lifeguards. Lifeguards are on the lookout for sharks and they will post warning signs if sharks are in the area.
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    Look at shark attacks by location. When in those high risk areas, take all precautions and possibly upgrade to a safer vehicle. Instead of body boarding or short boards surfing, consider kayaking or stand up board paddling. Generally, the country beaches, as opposed to the city beaches, have a higher incidence of shark attacks and encounters.
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    Be careful or avoid body boarding or short board surfing at river mouths.
    • The ocean predators place themselves at river mouths because it is great for ambushing. Think of the river mouth as a crossing like a bridge or an intersection, where if you place yourself there, you can meet up with many people.
    • Avoid river mouths after heavy rains. The smaller river life, unable to swim against the strong flow, gets washed into the ocean and attract the predators.
    • Be observant at river mouths because of the lower visibility. The water is not clear here with the brown, fresh water and even more so after a rain.
    • Farmers may dump carcasses, and parts of pigs and cattle, in rivers and streams, so avoid going in the water when you see this kind of dumping.
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    Avoid murky waters. For whatever reason, murky water seems to have more than their fair share of shark attacks
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    Surf a break or two away from harbor mouths. Harbor mouths, like river mouths, are a natural underwater heavy traffic zone. Additionally, sharks stay in these areas to get free handouts by commercial fishermen discarding fish parts after cleaning.
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    Be aware that points, like river and harbor mouths, are areas with a high concentration of fish including sharks. A big, long points protrudes out into the ocean and for the fish to get from point A to point B, they have to go around the point. The fish will not make a big turn around the point, they will swim close to it. Unfortunately, point breaks make nice waves that do not close out, and a paddling channel.
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    Avoid dawn, dusk and night surfing, sharks are more active at those times. You also will not have great visibility without sunlight. The winds increases during the day, choose mid morning or later afternoon to get wet. The minus side of this is that the conditions, with the lack of winds that make the waves sloppy, are great at dawn and dusk, and additionally the crowds at the breaks are smallest at dawn.
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    When shore fishermen have chummed the water to attract big fish, avoid surfing at those times. Sharks can smell well and will be drawn to the chum, fishermen sometimes catch big sharks unintentionally.
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    Continually look around for sharks and especially when there are spear fishermen in the area. The fish on their stringers will attract sharks.
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    Keeping your position in the lineup will have you facing the same direction, look outside for waves and look around yourself for sharks.
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    Stay out of the water when you have coral cuts, or any type of wound, do some over activity until your wound heals. It is usually beginners who have coral cuts because they are in the inside in shallow water and small waves.
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    Do not urinate in the water. Urinate just prior to entering the ocean.
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    Although, fish and sharks can be seen in shallow waters, they are usually wary of man, and are in deeper waters. Avoid deep waters. Stay with the pack, do not be one, way on the outside, hoping to catch that big wave first. Do not body board or surf alone. Unfortunately, shallow waters have small waves.
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    If there are many turtles, be careful or avoid surfing on that day. Sharks like to eat turtles. Know what the sharks in your area feed on. When marine life make quick movements, they are reacting to predators.
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    Follow the news and websites for shark sightings. Heed warning signs on the beach. Also check for jellyfish and Portuguese man of war warnings.
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    Consider board and shorts designs with tiger stripes. There is a fish, with a similar design, that sharks do not eat.
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    Read about sharks in general and the sharks in your area.
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    Distinguish between the dorsal fin of a porpoise, shark and killer whale.
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    If there is a shark, head for shore with strong steady strokes and catch the first wave in.

Tips

  • Sharks, compared to other fish, are slow, so they choose the vulnerable ones to prey on. The take off involves some dramatic thrashing, be aware that this type of action may attract sharks.

Article Info

Categories: Surfing