MAINE, USA — As summer continues, and beach-goers enjoy the surf, the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) reminds people to stay cautious and aware of their surroundings while in the water.
"While relative risk of a shark attack is very small, risks should always be minimized whenever possible in any activity on the water," DMR said in a news release issued Tuesday.
DMR advised in the release that swimmers, paddlers, and surfers should take the following cautionary measures to reduce the chances of a shark attack:
- If you choose to swim, surf, or paddle, be aware of your surroundings.
- Stay close to shore.
- Swim, paddle, and surf in groups.
- Avoid areas where there are seals or schooling fish.
- Avoid murky, or low visibility water.
- Avoid shiny jewelry when in or on the water.
- Limit splashing.
- Avoid swimming at dawn/dusk when lighting is low.
- Adhere to all signage at beaches and follow lifeguard instructions.
- Additional advice is available here.
DMR stated in the release that if anyone sees what they believe to be a white shark, and would like confirmation on the species, a form is now available on the DMR website here. The form is intended to provide a convenient way for members of the public to submit photos along with a description of what they see to the Maine DMR science bureau.
"Once information has been received, a DMR scientist will review the information and any images you upload and will respond via email," the release stated. "Data gathered through this form will also be shared with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy to be uploaded to their Sharktivity app."
The Sharktivity app provides users with shark activity that's been detected by acoustic receivers, as well as shark sightings.
Information about the app and how to download it can be found here.