Number Of Shark Attacks In Volusia Co. Drops


Number Of Shark Attacks In Volusia Co. Drops

Experts Worried About Shark Population

POSTED: 4:58 pm EST November 29, 2011
UPDATED: 5:55 pm EST November 29, 2011

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — For the third year in a row, officials said Tuesday the number of shark attacks along the Volusia County coast is down.

Dubbed as the “Shark Bite Capital of the World,” experts said the dramatic drop in shark bite incidents had them taking a look at the shark population.

“Maybe (the sharks) have gone somewhere else — hopefully,” surfer Daniel True, the fifth shark attack victim this year, said.

According to shark experts, surfers — particularly their dangling hands and feet — have long been the feast of choice for sharks around the jetty. Plentiful bait fish in the inlet draws the sharks, big waves bring the boarders, and the two frequently meet.

“I was kind of in shock at first. I knew what happened — it was a shark,” True said.

True said he took 34 stitches to the foot in September.

But experts said five shark encounters is nothing along a shore that has long seen double-digit shark bites.

Experts suggested that a downturn in tourism put fewer people in the water, but surfers said their numbers are up, not down.

“There’s no less people out in the water, so I don’t think that could have anything to do with it. But other than that, it seems like it could be cyclical,” surfer Jim Crage said.

But experts said they’re concerned the reason for the low number could be environmental — the shark population leveled off some years ago because of overfishing, but scientists said the numbers have since recovered.

According to scientists, the sharks are out there…

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