A new brochure providing guidelines and information about the sharks to the tourists and visitors in Cape Cod has sparked controversy with many suggesting that the content may be misleading while few others finding it useful.
The contents warning people about the possibility of sharks have made some people wonder that it may cause more bad than good.
The 415,000 brochures were printed and distributed by consortium of harbormasters and other local officials in Massachusetts with USD 22,500 from a state program to raise public awareness about the sharks. Besides, the pamphlet aimed at educating the public about what to do if they see one.
There’s some good information in the brochure, said Richard Delaney, president of the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown.
“The cover has an extra-mean, toothy picture of a shark. It’s one more example of how we, as a society, have this general myth that these guys are big, nasty creatures,” he said.
Shark sightings have become more common in Cape waters in the recent times.
Expressing her concern over threat to sharks, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce CEO Wendy Northcross said, “I realize there is an urgent need for public information on the severe issue but I don’t want it to be sensationalized.”
Delaney further said that he would remove a controversial sentence from the brochure that suggested that ‘the only way to avoid sharks is to stay on land’.
“It may have gone a little too far by saying don’t go in the water,” Delaney said.
Defending the pamphlet, Nathan Sears, natural resources manager for the town of Orleans, said, “We’re just trying to raise public awareness.”
Recent studies and research works have made some startling revelations about the sharks. The scientists and international research team have urged for an immediate attention from the world over the decline in the number of these aquatic species.
The studies have revealed that millions of sharks are being killed every year. If their slaughter is not checked on time, they will soon lead to extinction in the coming years.
Sharks are facing maximum level of threat in the areas of Red Sea and the Indo-Pacific Biodiversity Triangle. Besides this, the report also expresses the need for urgent global action in the islands of Sulawesi, Sumatra, Borneo, Java and the Gulf of Thailand.
Experts say the loss of the seas’ biggest predator would be very devastating for the aquatic ecosystem.