Great White Shark – CC via Wikimedia Commons/Hermanus Backpackers
CAIRO – 13 August 2017: The results of studies, maritime surveys, and monitoring conducted by the Ministry of Environment have identified the reasons behind shark attacks in the Red Sea. The Ministry revealed that throughout the last two decades human practices are the main cause for such attacks.
The studies’ results released on Saturday indicated that some tourists illegally provide food for sharks for adventurous purposes in deep water. That attracts maritime creatures that sense threats and thus attack.
Humans have never been within the sharks’ diet, and their attacks in the Red Sea are the lowest worldwide.
The study recommended certain measures in order to prevent such attacks. They recommend setting floating fence in the sea when the depth is two meters to indicate deep waters. They also recommended building towers of five meters in height in order to observe tourists swimming far from the beach.
Tourists should report any strange activity such as finding big fish, and report those feeding fish in the sea, or throwing fish remains into the water.
Tourists must also refrain from swimming in fishing locations. Sharks get attracted near the shore and in open waters by bait and vibes emitted by other fish when caught.
A 20-year-old female Austrian tourist, Christine Schachinger, was attacked by a shark in Marsa Alam in southeast Egypt while snorkeling in one of the Red Sea beaches on 5 August.
Marsa Alam’s beach was closed for 48 hours following the incident. Minister of Environment Khaled Fahmy issued a decision to ban any diving, snorkeling and any beach access on Monday.
A medical source at the Red Sea governorate said that Schachinger underwent a surgery following the shark attack and is now in good health.
Environment Ministry issued a statement on 10 August clarifying that Schachinger was among a group of 40 tourists who swam with dolphins in deep water ignoring the warning signs. On their way back a great white shark appeared. A member of the group kicked the shark out of fear, so it bit Schachinger as she was going away.