May 28 2008
The recent shark attacks (and deaths) on surfers in the Zihuatanejo area of Mexico (state of Guerrero) has alarmed everyone in the area and even brought in the Mexican Marines and Navy to patrol and spot for sharks. So far, the Navy has reported not spotting any large sharks in the area; but locals remained concerned.
After the first shark attack in April, officials responded by hunting sharks in the area. There was a large backlash from environmentalist, tourist, and surfers. Unfortunately, the approach did not work as there were two additional attacks in the same area (one fatal). [See related posts below for more info] Local officials now are working hard at determining the species involved by catching and releasing them and trying to spot sharks instead of haphazardly hunting and killing them.
The attacks and recent press coverage is sure to dissuade travelers and surfers considering going to the area. Bruce Grimes, the American who was attacked on Sunday and lost his thumb to the attack, owns a surfshop in the Zihuatanejo area and is concerned about the effect of the attacks on business. In spite of his injuries, he’s planning a return to the water after his recovery.
“I’ll go right back. Yeah, I’m that stupid,” Grimes said, examining his bandaged arm outside the hospital where he just had his daily cleaning. “I’ll go right back out as soon as I’m able to.” [AP Press article]