Sharks seek human proximity – Wikipedia

Most animals are afraid of humans, so they try to get as far as possible from their noisy and bright cities. But there are some species that don’t mind the presence of humans and have learned to take advantage of it.

When it comes to pigeons, from a human point of view, it is rather harmless. Raccoon is different. Some consider animals, about half a meter long with a wide face and round ears, to be cute, others consider carnivores, who like to throw out trash cans, among the worst pests of all.

In any case, the news from a team led by Neil Hammerschlag of the University of Miami is very frightening, as some species of sharks also seek to get close to humans and intentionally swim in the direction of large cities. Although it is known that only about five people die each year as a result of a shark attack, the result of the investigation just published in the scientific journal is Marine Ecology Advance Series It was posted, which is somewhat alarming.

“There are very few studies that have examined the movement patterns of predatory fish in relation to cities,” Hammerschlag says. “But because other studies have shown that terrestrial predators avoid cities, we expected sharks to do the same.” But this assessment turned out to be wrong. “We were surprised that the sharks spent a lot of time near the lights and noise of the bustling city. They often stayed close to shore, no matter the time of day.”


For their study, scientists caught 14 large hammerheads (Sphyrna mokarran), 13 sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) and 25 Atlantic nurse sharks (Ginglymostoma cirratum) off the Florida coast near the metropolitan city of Miami. The transmitter was implanted in bull and nurse sharks. The researchers did not want to subject the stress-sensitive hammerhead sharks to this procedure; So they attached the transmitter externally to the animals’ back muscles. For five years – between 2015 and 2019 – scientists tracked where and when the sharks were.

Two of the shark species studied are known to occasionally attack humans

Evaluation of movement patterns showed that predatory fish were more often than average in densely populated areas of the coast. Researchers don’t know exactly why animals get so close to humans. However, they suspect that sharks are attracted to fish droppings or that nutrients released into the sea along with city sewage promote algal blooms. This can breed fish that feed on these algae, which in turn can attract sharks to eat the fish.

According to the study’s authors, this can be dangerous for both sharks and humans: “Because they spend a long time near the coast, there is a risk to the sharks that they will come into contact with environmental toxins and that they will be caught by fishermen.” As Hammerschlag says. Both can affect their health and survival chances.

For people bathing in the sea, the behavior of animals means an increased risk of encountering a shark. Although shark attacks are rare, the study authors believe that people should avoid going into the water in certain stretches of the coast. After all, two of the species examined in the study are said to occasionally attack humans. Bull shark attacks can be deadly. Attacks by large hammerhead sharks have also been recorded in the International Shark Attacks File, where shark attacks on humans are recorded, but fortunately never yielded fatal results.

Leave a Comment