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'Shark brochure' has everyone upset

Cape Cod Shark Safety Brochure Putting People On Edge

Apparently sharks are becoming a serious problem off the coast of Cape Cod. Or at least a new brochure is making them out to be. And many are now wondering if the brochures are doing more harm than good.

"Part of the concern is the cover. People are taking a problem with it. Among other things, people say it looks right out of the movie Jaws. The pamphlets also include tips for beach goers, including not to swim in deep waters."

More than 400,000 of these shark safety brochures were distributed to educate tourists and residents. The brochures were created as part of a grant program called The Community Innovation Challenge.

Tony Guthrie, the president of the Harwich Chamber of Commerce on Cape Cod, spoke with WFXT about these brochures.

''I just felt like it could have been conveyed in a different way that would be more appealing to the general public instead of being so scary, so to speak."

The brochures were released in part because the number of shark sightings in Cape Cod has increased over the past few years.

Cape Cod Shark Hunters revealed nine different sharks were spotted in November and December of 2013. This is significant because it wasn't believed the sharks could survive in the cold water typically found during these months.

And last year WBZ-TV reported scientists realized Cape Cod might be a breeding ground for sharks.

The president and CEO of the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies told the Cape Cod Times he thinks the brochures contain useful information but he says the line that reads

"The only way to completely rule out a close encounter with a shark is to stay on the shore" should have been scratched, because it put too many people on edge.

A writer for WFXT notes that a person's chances of getting bitten by a shark are 1 in 12 million. This means it's more likely that a person will be struck by lightning. In fact, only one person has reported being bitten by a shark in Massachusetts in the past 76 years.

Another member of the Harwich Chamber of Commerce said his city will only be using these brochures as a resource for people who have questions about sharks. The brochures have already been distributed among people in several spots on the Cape.

Join the discussion

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Velocity105 May 07 2014 at 12:19 PM

They're coming ashore now because humans and fished out the oceans and there's no food left for them. Saw before and after Jacques Cousteau footage of a part of the ocean filmed in the 1960's and the same part in the late 1990's. The 60's footage was teeming with fish the 90's footage showed barren water, completely devoid of fish. The predators are starving and they know the meals are near the shorelines now.

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3 replies
j.demarcos2 May 07 2014 at 1:39 PM

Yes, they are more concerned about tourist dollars than tourist safety

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Your Excellency May 07 2014 at 9:59 PM

"A writer for WFXT notes that a person's chances of getting bitten by a shark are 1 in 12 million. This means it's more likely that a person will be struck by lightning."

We see this statistic quite a bit. Except the 1 in 12 million number includes all people in the world (even those in the desert, mountains, and plains), and not just those who are swimming in the ocean. Last I looked, lightning strikes anywhere, but sharks can only be encountered in the ocean.

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1 reply
stephen284 Your Excellency May 07 2014 at 10:38 PM

Apparently you've never had the need for a lawyer!

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ashleyhernandez9 May 07 2014 at 1:52 PM

This is absolutely ridiculous. They didn't even mention what kind of sharks they are. Also, sharks don't even want to eat humans. If a person ever gets bit, it's an accident. Leave the sharks alone.

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1 reply
EfinTwistedT ashleyhernandez9 May 07 2014 at 2:26 PM

sharks are attracted to splashing, and blood in the water.
they don't normally attack people per sey, but rather they attack people on surf boards that happen to look like a fat little seal. : x
safety is more important than money, which explains the brochures.

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pgill91938 May 07 2014 at 1:59 PM

Have you ever heard of someone wearing a thong bikini being attacked by a shark?? I think not... apparently the thong style bikini acts as a shark repellent... topless works too..

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1 reply
notapclib pgill91938 May 07 2014 at 2:31 PM

Depending on what is sporting the thong or being topless.... I saw some pretty repulsive creatures doing both on Dominican Republic beaches.... the sharks would have done the world a favor by devouring them... but even sharks have higher standards.

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MARY KAY & SCOTT May 07 2014 at 2:02 PM

Interesting...if you put the prez's name in a post, AOL is having technical difficulty and won't post it. Could this be censorship, violation of 1st Amendment?

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1 reply
Go RU ! MARY KAY & SCOTT May 07 2014 at 2:15 PM

And this has what to do with thearticle?

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1 reply
nogopea Go RU ! May 07 2014 at 3:05 PM

Haven't you heard?It is now also the Presidents fault sharks are in the water.

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reste0123 May 07 2014 at 2:03 PM

"I think we are going to need a BIGGER boat"

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1 reply
EfinTwistedT reste0123 May 07 2014 at 2:20 PM

ha ha ha ; )

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ojedams May 07 2014 at 2:38 PM

It is not the sharks fault that they must swim in their own natural habitat full of hairless apes on the beach. Humans need to stop encroaching on their territory, or at least stop pancaking when a shark or two swims along minding its own business.

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1 reply
rcheneyjr ojedams May 07 2014 at 6:16 PM

I like pancakes

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tmlbtb May 07 2014 at 2:39 PM

What brings back memories of 'Jaws' the movie is, the mayor telling everyone not to worry, they don't bite. Tell the CEO of the chamber to swim 100 feet out so the beach crowd can gain a sense of confidence!

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cacevedomu May 07 2014 at 2:55 PM

I wonder who printed and how much was charged for the 40,000 flyers. Follow the money, always.

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