The latest news in life sciences.
Read moreThe California Department of Fish and Wildlife said on Thursday it is seeking federal approval to put in place measures to help keep people and animals out of the water in the wake of an increase in shark attacks in the Golden State.
In a statement, the department said it’s “aware of a significant increase in recent weeks in incidents of shark attacks and is working with local law enforcement agencies to determine how to better protect the public, animals and the environment.”
“This increase was driven by an increased number of sharks,” the statement read.
“The department has been conducting a number of outreach and training programs aimed at educating the public and our community about shark safety and shark bites, to help prevent further attacks.”
In the last year, the California Department for Fish and Game has recorded more than 1,000 shark attacks.
“Our shark population is currently at the highest level in more than 40 years, and we are concerned that the recent increase in incidents has resulted in the population of shark in California exceeding its historical maximum,” said the statement from the department.
The department said its program has been working with the U.S. Fish and Aquarium of the Pacific, the state’s shark conservation agency, to “develop a shark avoidance plan that would provide more targeted resources to communities, businesses and individuals, as well as more targeted educational materials to encourage safe swimming practices.”
According to the department, shark bites are up more than 20 per cent since October, and shark-related fatalities have doubled in the past three years.
The latest wave of attacks was the result of a high tide, said California Gov.
Gavin Newsom, who also urged people to keep their pets out of water.
“If you have a pet, especially a dog, get them out of there,” he said.
“I think we’re seeing that people are putting their dogs in their swimming pool.
We need to have a much bigger awareness of how dangerous it is.”
The California Highway Patrol, meanwhile, said it has increased patrols on the state highway system, including at Highway 4 and Interstate 15.
“While we know we have to do better, we have a long way to go to reduce the number of fatalities and to reduce injuries,” said CHP spokesperson Kevin Burt.