Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Russian Far East Sees its First Shark Attacks: Warmer Waters Blamed

Overfishing together with warming offshore waters are cited as possible causes of the first known shark attacks in the Russian Far East according to this Aug. 18, 2011, NYT article "Shark Attacks Shock Russian East." Two or three (with the third unconfirmed) shark attacks took place over the past few days off the shore of the Russian coastal province of Primorsky Krai, where beaches are crowded this time of year.

For US West Coasters, the beaches of Primorsky Krai on the Sea of Japan are relatively more swimmer-friendly than the East Pacific coast, with warmer waters and more sandy shores. The footage they are showing in conjunction with the shark attacks looks like Shamora, a famous beach near Vladivostok where I hung out on at least one occasion back in my Russian environmental activism days, though I don't believe any of the attacks took place there.

For Russian-readers, here's a decent article from, Aug. 18, 2011, covering the two confirmed attacks of a 25 year old man and a 16 year old boy. Both the NYT and articles quote WWF's Konstantin Zgurovsky mentioning the role of climate change in the changing migration patterns of the shark.

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