Maine Woman Is Killed in Possible Shark Attack
Maine may have experienced its first-ever fatal shark attack.
Officials in the Pine Tree State are investigating a possible shark attack that took place Monday and left one woman dead. If it's confirmed, it will go down in the books as Maine's first official deadly shark attack, ABC News reported.
The Maine Department of Marine Resources posted on Facebook that "an eye witness reported that the woman was swimming off the shore near White Sails Lane when she was injured in what appeared to be a shark attack. Kayakers nearby brought her to shore and EMS responders were called to the scene where she was pronounced deceased." The post went on to say, "Until further notice, swimmers and boaters are urged to use caution near Bailey Island and to avoid swimming near schooling fish or seals."
Bailey Island is in Casco Bay, just east of Yarmouth and Freeport. Maine Department of Marine Resources spokesman Jeff Nichols told the Boston Globe that he could not find records of any fatal attacks before Monday.
Nichols also told the Boston Globe that the last known shark attack occurred off the coast of Eastport in 2010, when a diver swam near salmon pens. Local news reports said the diver used his camera to fend off the shark and escaped unharmed, according to the Boston Globe.
The Boston Globe also reported that although It's unclear what kind of shark the diver saw, he believed it was a porbeagle.
James Sulikowski, a shark researcher in charge of Arizona State University's Sulikowski Shark and Fish Conservation Lab, has spent years researching white sharks in Maine in collaboration with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy. He said there are eight shark species found off Maine's coast, but only white sharks are known to have attacked people, the Boston Globe reported.
When that happens, Sulikowski said, it's most likely because the shark has mistaken a human for a seal.
"The shark wasn't looking to eat this woman," Sulikowski told the Boston Globe. "It thought it was getting a seal. We've never been on their menu. We don't taste like what they want."
He added that white sharks try to take their prey by surprise. "They come up from below or behind, undetected, and just try to overpower their prey with a ferocious blow," he told the Boston Globe.
Sulikowski told The Portland Press Herald that it could have been a white shark attack. The Boston Globe reported that this past weekend, Sulikowski and his team were contacted about a dead seal on the beach in Phippsburg, near Bailey Island, that had a 19-inch bite mark in it.
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By David Reichmuth
Over the last month, I've seen a number of opinion articles attacking electric vehicles (EVs). Sadly, this comes as no surprise: now that the Biden administration is introducing federal policies to accelerate the roll out of electric vehicles, we were bound to see a reaction from those that oppose reducing climate changing emissions and petroleum use.
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The Great Trail in Canada is recognized as the world's longest recreational trail for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. Created by the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) and various partners, The Great Trail consists of a series of smaller, interconnected routes that stretch from St. John's to Vancouver and even into the Yukon and Northwest Territories. It took nearly 25 years to connect the 27,000 kilometers of greenway in ways that were safe and accessible to hikers. Now, thanks to a new partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee and AccessNow, the TCT is increasing accessibility throughout The Great Trail for people with disabilities.
Trans Canada Trail and AccessNow partnership for AccessOutdoors / Trails for All project. Mapping day at Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver, British Columbia with Richard Peter. Alexa Fernando<p>This partnership also comes at a time when access to outdoor recreation is more important to Canadian citizens than ever. <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200527/dq200527b-eng.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Studies from the spring of 2020</a> indicate that Canadian's <a href="https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/moneytalk-mental-health-during-covid-19-1.1567633" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">mental health has worsened</a> since the onset of social distancing protocols due to COVID-19. </p><p>The <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/safe-activities-during-covid19/art-20489385" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mayo Clinic</a> lists hiking, biking, and skiing as safe activities during COVID-19. Their website explains, "When you're outside, fresh air is constantly moving, dispersing these droplets. So you're less likely to breathe in enough of the respiratory droplets containing the virus that causes COVID-19 to become infected."</p><p>TCT leadership took this into consideration when embarking on the accessibility project. McMahon explains that there has never been a more important time to bring accessibility to the great outdoors: "Canadians have told us that during these difficult times, they value access to natural spaces to stay active, take care of their mental health, and socially connect with others while respecting physical distancing and public health directives. This partnership is incredibly important especially now as trails have become a lifeline for Canadians."</p><p>Together, these organizations are paving the way for better physical and mental health among all Canadians. To learn more about the TCT's mission and initiatives, check out their <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/stories/" target="_blank">trail stories</a> and <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/TCT_2020-Donor-Impact-Report_EN_8.5x14-web.pdf" target="_blank">2020 Impact Report</a>.</p>