Few tourists stop beach visits because of sharks – Sentinel and Enterprise
While many are afraid of great white sharks, the majority of people think they can control if they encounter the apex predators along Cape Cod.
Tourists in particular are taking steps to avoid shark encounters, but only a few visitors to Cape Town have reduced their beach trips because of sharks since a person was killed by a great white in Wellfleet four years ago years.
That’s according to a new investigation released Monday into the coexistence of humans with sharks and seals along the Cape.
Representative samples of visitors, residents and commercial fishermen in Cape Town – around 2,000 people in total – responded by mail and online to survey questions about beliefs and attitudes about seals and seals. sharks, their views on lethal and non-lethal management, and whether the presence of seals and sharks has changed their behavior at the beach.
When on Cape Town beaches, residents and tourists alike take multiple steps to avoid shark encounters, with tourists being especially vigilant.
These actions include checking and following signage and warning systems (66% of residents, 77% of tourists), avoiding areas where sharks have been reported (63% of residents, 55% of tourists) , respecting the instructions of lifeguards (54% of residents, 74% of tourists), and avoiding seals (57% of residents, 51% of tourists).
Tourists (40%) are more likely than residents (21%) and commercial fishers (10%) to visit patrolled beaches to reduce the risk of shark encounters.
“Tourists are the most active, which is probably a good indication of the work beach managers are doing to get these messages across about how to avoid shark encounters,” said lead researcher Professor Jennifer Jackman. study, from the Department of Politics, Politics, and Politics at Salem State University. International relationships.
Respondents in all three groups felt in control of whether or not they encountered sharks. Among residents, 68% said they were in control, followed by 65% of tourists and 60% of commercial fishermen.
But few respondents in any category say they limit splashing, use shark-repellent devices or have reduced the frequency of their beach visits (3% of tourists, 8% of residents and 12% of commercial fishermen).
The vast majority of respondents in every group support policies aimed at preventing human-shark interactions, including raising public awareness of sharks, improving signage on beaches, and establishing more patrols as part of conservation systems. shark alert. However, commercial fishers are consistently less supportive of these measures.
Commercial fishermen often have a negative perception of seals and their ecological, economic and fisheries impacts. They tend to blame seals for reducing and suppressing fish stocks, harming the economy and creating public safety risks by attracting sharks.
In the future, this survey will be provided to municipal, state and federal authorities.
“They can then use it to identify and highlight areas where we need to do work,” said Lisa Sette of the Center for Coastal Studies, adding, “It’s pretty clear that the public – tourists, voters, fishermen – wants more education, and they believe there is a need for more education.And also… the importance of signage.