Never Go in the Ocean at This Time, Shark Experts Warn
This is when you're most likely to encounter a hungry shark.
Shark sightings have been on the rise this summer, which is actually a good thing, as experts say seeing more sharks means there are more fish near the shore. But beachgoers may not share the same affinity for close encounters with the ocean's most feared predators. It's important to keep in mind that when you're swimming in the ocean, you're visiting sharks' domain, but if you follow a few simple rules, you should be able to avoid sharks altogether. In fact, making sure you're not swimming at certain times of day could make all the difference. Read on to find out when you should avoid going in the ocean if you want to avoid sharks.
Avoid swimming in the early morning and evening when sharks typically feed.
Although taking a dip during sunrise or sunset may seem like an idyllic way to begin or end a day, you're more likely to have a hungry visitor at these times. Experts told Today that people should "avoid the surf in early morning and evening when sharks typically feed." According to Under Water Australia, sharks tend to hunt at dawn and dusk, although they're known to eat anytime prey crosses their path.
The Florida Museum also urges people to avoid the water at dawn and dusk. "Many sharks are most active at these times and are better able to find you than you are to see them," they explain.
Avoid water that may attract more sharks.
You should also be careful about the water you're going in. Any body of water with a surplus of fish could put you at risk of a shark encounter. Experts told Today that people should avoid water that's frequented by sport or commercial fishermen because they may be chumming the water, which could attract sharks. The Florida Museum also suggests avoiding water that contains any sewage, because it attracts bait fishes, which then attract sharks.
Forbes notes that one way to know if there's a large school of fish nearby is if you see seabirds diving. Additionally, if you see fish jumping, that could signal that a shark is in the area.
Never swim in water near seals.
It may seem like a once-in-a-lifetime experience to swim in the ocean a few miles from seals, but experts warn that this is also dangerous, since seals are one of sharks' favorite snacks. "If you're foolish enough to go swimming among a group of seals frolicking in the shallows, then you're putting yourself at risk. There's no question about that," marine biologist and shark expert Bob Hueter, PhD, told Forbes.
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Avoid doing anything in the water that could attract sharks.
You may not realize that what you wear when you swim could be the difference between simply seeing a shark fin miles away and encountering a shark up close and personal. According to the Florida Museum, you should avoid going in the water with an uneven tan or brightly colored clothing. "Sharks see contrast particularly well, so use extra caution when waters are cloudy," they explain. Also, you should never wear shiny jewelry in the water because "the reflected light looks like shining fish scales."