'Shark brochure' has everyone upset

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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."

'Shark brochure' has everyone upset
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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.

'Shark brochure' has everyone upset
In this June 15, 2014, photo, a sign warns of the danger sharks pose to swimmers at Boa Viagem beach in Recife, Brazil. The beach, which has seen an influx in visitors during the World Cup, has had more reported shark attacks than any other beach in Brazil. According to the state's Shark Incident Monitoring Committee, 59 people have been attacked by sharks in or near Recife since 1992. Some tourists' eyes widen as they notice the shark symbol while approach the huts to order Brazilian cocktails. (AP Photo/Lawrence Rincon)
In this June 15, 2014, photo, a throng of beach goers are gathered on Boa Viagem beach in the World Cup city of Recife, Brazil. Boa Viagem, which means safe journey in Portuguese, is notorious in Brazil for shark attacks, and officials have renewed efforts to warn visitors of the danger touring the World Cup. (AP Photo/Lawrence Rincon)
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A placard warns about a shark hazard in Boa Viagem beach in Recife, northeastern Brazil on September 11, 2012. AFP PHOTO/ANTONIO SCORZA (Photo credit should read ANTONIO SCORZA/AFP/Getty Images)
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Two lifeguards make sure no one enters the water due to a shark attack warning in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil on June 14, 2013. AFP PHOTO / DANIEL GARCIA (Photo credit should read DANIEL GARCIA/AFP/Getty Images)
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MOZAMBIQUE - UNDATED: EXCLUSIVE Bull sharks and a diver swimming off the coast of Mozambique. Could this be the bravest underwater female photographer on the planet? Fearless sea-snapper, Fiona Ayerst,45, from Mossel Bay, South Africa is so dedicated to capturing up-close pictures of sharks that she literally goes head-to-head with the ocean's top predators. But that is not all - in one eye-popping picture she snaps a friend cheekily swimming in front of a whale shark in just a bikini. Luckily for her this gentle member of the world's largest fish species is more interested in swallowing plankton than people. Fiona's travels have taken her lemon shark snapping in the Bahamas to taking shots of bull sharks off the coast of South Africa. 'It always feels great to be up close with sharks and the bikini makes no difference at all,' explained Fiona. 'Seeing as human beings kill over 100 million sharks each year, and they only kill less than ten of us each year- I am not especially worried about them. 'I think they should be more worried about me.' (Photo by Fiona Ayerst/Barcroft Media / Getty Images)
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A Sand Tiger Shark swims in its aquarium at the Zoo-Aquarium in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
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