Marine Ecologist Breaks Down Fact vs. Fiction of Shark Attacks

Florida International University Marine Ecologist Mike Heithaus joined Ainsley Earhardt on FOX and Friends Thursday morning to break down the fact vs. fiction about shark attacks and to discuss why more and more attacks are happening off the shores of Long Island. 

Heithaus addressed what he deemed ‘facts’ such as that humans are not the intended targets of shark attacks, noting that the vast majority of bites are the sharks mistaking a human’s hand or foot for a fish. He also explained that it is a ‘fact’ that shark bites occur in low visibility waters, and advised viewers not to swim in turbid waters, or at sunrise and sunset when sharks are most active. 


As far as the ‘fiction’ goes, Heithaus shared that dolphins are not a sign that sharks are nowhere nearby, noting that sharks and dolphins often feed on the same fish school and may be present together. He also warned viewers not to believe that sharks are the most dangerous threat at beaches, adding that everyone must be aware of the local water conditions, such as rip tides, and listen to local advice for threats at their beaches.  

Responding to why more and more attacks are happening, Heithaus cited conservation efforts for the sharks themselves and the food they eat, as well as warmer water temperatures. Heithaus added that though there appear to be more sharks, the shark population worldwide is still nowhere near where it used to be. 


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