May 25 2008

Third Shark Attack on Surfer in Mexico in One Month

Published by at 10:36 pm under Environment,Sharks

A shark injured a 49-year-old American surfer Saturday, May 24, at Playa Linda in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. The attack is the third in one month in the area with a fatal attack on a Mexican surfer occurring a day earlier 20 minutes north near the beach resort area of Troncones. Adrian Ruiz, a surfer from San Francisco, was killed in an attack in April in Troncones. Authorities have not closed beaches in Zihuatanejo, but people were being advised against swimming.

Bruce Grimes, 49 from Florida, suffered minor injuries in the attack and managed to get to the hospital on his own.

“I felt something brush past me three times, scraping my skin like sandpaper. Then I saw a three-meter (10-foot) shark attacking my right arm,” Bruce Grimes told reporters after leaving the hospital Saturday.

Official blame the new influx of shark in the area on climate change.

“We brought shark specialists to the area and the first thing they said was that [sharks] could be because of cold water currents caused by climate change,” said Guerrero state’s environmental minister, Sabas de la Rosa. [Link to story]

Troncones, Mexico is officially the worst place to surf right now. Unfortunately, after the first attack in April there, local authorities responded by baiting and killing 12 sharks. It’s interesting that they blame climate change for sharp increase in shark attacks (Mexico hasn’t had a fatal shark attack in 30 years before the attack in April). I wrote a post a little while back on scientists linking increased shark attacks on global warming. I’m sure there will be a million theories on it, but it a troubling trend with three fatal attacks in one month.

The shark hunt by local authorities after the last hunt becomes particularly questionable after a recent report by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature that more than half of the world’s shark are under threat of extinction.

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