'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."

Cape Cod shark sightings
See Gallery
'Shark brochure' has everyone upset

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-TVreported scientists realized Cape Cod might be a breeding ground for sharks.

The president and CEO of the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies told the CapeCod 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 WFXTnotes 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.

See Gallery
'Shark brochure' has everyone upset
Guadalupe Island, Mexico.
Wild blue shark with pilot fish. Latin - Prionace glauca. Off islands of Pico and Faial in the Azores archipelago.
Shark scrambling to eye divers.
Silky sharks in Jardines de la Reina archipelago in Cuba.
Shark swimming in ocean water
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)
Diver watches hooked Scalloped Hammerhead Shark (Sphyma lewini) trying to swim free. Cocos Island, Costa Rica - Pacific Ocean
Caribbean reef shark (Carcharhinus perezii), Roatan, Honduras
Surfboard underwater
Shark beneath the waves circles a surfer
Whale Shark in the Maldives
Satellite tagged Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias). When the shark surfaces the tag transmits its position to a global positioning database via a satellite. Klein Bay, South Africa
Great White Shark
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)
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)
THE BAHAMAS - FEBRUARY 20: EXCLUSIVE. A tiger shark with a satellite tag on its dorsal fin on February 20, 2011 in the Caribbean Sea, west of the Bahamas. They may look like shark cowboys but these rough and ready scientists are using an unusual technique to track the movements of this tiger shark as it moves through the seas. Sitting sitting precariously on the back of 13 foot-long female tiger shark, the six man team from Miami University's R.J. Dunlap Conservation Program work in unison to catch and then fit a shark-friendly satellite tracking system to the dorsal fin of the giant creature before safely releasing it back into the water. Shark researcher, Dr Neil Hammerschlag and his team are able to carry out this delicate work in just five minutes to ensure safely for his team - and the shark. Since May last year they have tagged and tracked a total of 25 tiger sharks and 25 other sharks, including the endangered hammerhead and bull sharks at a cost of $200,000 (£122,000). Their research will provide a greater understanding of shark migration, breeding and conservation. (Photo by Jim Abernethy / Barcroft Media / Getty Images)
Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.