First Fatal Shark Attack in Massachusetts Since 1936
A Massachusetts man died Saturday after what is believed to be the first deadly shark attack in that state since 1936, CNN reported Sunday.
The death comes as the population of great white sharks off Cape Cod has increased in recent years following the rebounding of the seal population there.
"Overall, I don't think there's much you can do about the situation. It's their home, sharks live here and we're not really on their menu, but unfortunately when they do take a test bite and decide we're not on their menu, it just happens to be pretty devastating generally," area surfer Robert Bessler told CNN in response to the attack.
The death comes a month after another Massachusetts man survived a shark attack in Truro, also on Cape Cod.
The victim, 26-year-old Arthur Medici, was boogie boarding with another man 30 yards off of Cape Cod's Newcomb Hollow Beach when the attack occurred.
He was given CPR and taken to Cape Cod Hospital, but died once there.
Acting Deputy Chief of Cape Cod National Seashore Chris Hartsgrove said Medici's injuries looked like shark bites.
Experts told The New York Times that great white sharks don't intentionally attack humans, but sometimes confuse them for seals or other large marine mammals.
"Pretty much every shark bite is an accident," Florida Program for Shark Research at the Florida Museum of Natural History Gavin Naylor told The New York Times. "It's mistaken identity."
Most shark attacks happen to people like Medici, who are surfing or engaged in other water sports, according to research cited by The New York Times.
Naylor did say it was more unusual for sharks to swim so close to the shore, and wondered if the booming population had displaced younger sharks from the prime hunting grounds in deeper waters.
The beach where Medici was attacked was closed to swimmers Sunday, CNN reported, but Naylor told CNN that future bathers in the area should avoid swimming alone at sunrise or sunset, and to look out for lots of seals or fish jumping in the water, as that could mean sharks are nearby.
Medici was enrolled in the spring as a part-time engineering student at Bunker Hill Community College, the school said.
"Our lives are never going to be the same without him," a tribute on a Gofundme page set up by family and friends to pay for funeral expenses said, according to The New York Times. "His laughter filled our home and he will be greatly missed by us all."
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At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.
Migratory beekeeping involves trucking millions of bees across the U.S. to pollinate different crops, including avocados and almonds. Timothy Paule II / Pexels / CC0<p>According to <a href="https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/beekeeping-how-to-keep-bees" target="_blank">From the Grapevine</a>, American avocados also fully depend on bees' pollination to produce fruit, so farmers have turned to migratory beekeeping as well to fill the void left by wild populations.</p><p>U.S. farmers have become reliant upon the practice, but migratory beekeeping has been called exploitative and harmful to bees. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/health/avocado-almond-vegan-partner/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> reported that commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees and that transporting them to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. Because the honeybees are forced to gather pollen and nectar from a single, monoculture crop — the one they've been brought in to pollinate — they are deprived of their normal diet, which is more diverse and nourishing as it's comprised of a variety of pollens and nectars, Scientific American reported.</p><p>Scientific American added how getting shuttled from crop to crop and field to field across the country boomerangs the bees between feast and famine, especially once the blooms they were brought in to fertilize end.</p><p>Plus, the artificial mass influx of bees guarantees spreading viruses, mites and fungi between the insects as they collide in midair and crawl over each other in their hives, Scientific American reported. According to CNN, some researchers argue that this explains why so many bees die each winter, and even why entire hives suddenly die off in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.</p>
Avocado and almond crops depend on bees for proper pollination. FRANK MERIÑO / Pexels / CC0<p>Salazar and other Columbian beekeepers described "scooping up piles of dead bees" year after year since the avocado and citrus booms began, according to Phys.org. Many have opted to salvage what partial colonies survive and move away from agricultural areas.</p><p>The future of pollinators and the crops they help create is uncertain. According to the United Nations, nearly half of insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, Phys.org reported. Their decline already has cascading consequences for the economy and beyond. Roughly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops around the world depend on bees and other pollinators for free fertilization services worth billions of dollars, Phys.org noted. Losing wild and native bees could <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wild-bees-crop-shortage-2646849232.html" target="_self">trigger food security issues</a>.</p><p>Salazar, the beekeeper, warned Phys.org, "The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment... are dying?"</p>
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