You know how to stingray shuffle – where you shuffle your legs on the beach to avoid getting on the beam – but do you know what you should do when you hit the shark?
As it turns out, it depends on their behavior.
"It is important to prevent this by saying that the behavior of sharks is a very inaccurate science, there is still a lot we do not know," said Patrick Rex, a postgraduate student who introduced himself to the Cal State Long Beach Shark Lab. on Friday.
Researchers told lifeguards that if a shark swims steadily at a steady pace near you, he is likely to just check you out and be considered obedient. However, if its swimming unreasonable or circling you, it can be defensive or "food motivated".
It is important to realize that while "food-motivated" may sound like a shark that wants to eat you, we are normally not on the lunch menu of our jagged friends.
In both cases, it's best to look at the shark, scientists say. In the latter case, you should do so and back up slowly and firmly. If you hold any kind of food like a fish or a top of chum, drain it and pull it off. Be aware of your surroundings, however, and make sure that you are not getting between the potential prey and the shark. And always tell the shark to the nearest lifeguard.
Shark Lab has recently earned $ 3.75 million from the state of California to conduct research and shark spreading to improve beach security.
Rescuers from the central California coast of San Diego beaches first gathered from 2014 to hear the last sharks from Long Beach Crew Producer, Chris Lowe, Director of Shark Lab.
Representatives of Shark Lab have shown that the first respondents will tell the difference between a large white shark and gray whale and other marine mammals who often mistakenly shark by teaching them when they are inactive or obedient, and when they are more active and more threatening.
"The challenge is that sharks returning, are more and more often on our beaches, more people use water than ever before, and swimmers are those who are daily engaged in the public, so they need scientific information to decide how to better advise the public, "Lowe said.
With other state resources, Shark Lab is able to expand its efforts to help and help update the nationwide shark protocol.
"The more scientific research that is added to our programs, the more we understand our environment in the oceans, the better our policies will become," said Brian Ketterer, chief of the Coastal Division for California State Parks.
While shark attacks are still relatively rare, observations and incidents have been more and more common in recent years, Lowe said. Especially in Long Beach, where shark mothers use shallow water near the coast as nurseries for their calves.
Resources also allow the lab to provide new educational materials. Together with the introduction of other water monitoring devices, the lab works with a graphic artist to create a comic book for children to teach them how to respond to a shark situation.
Valerie Osier is a journalist for the Long Beach Post. Reach it [email protected] or Twitter @ValeriOser
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