PRESS RELEASE: Deepest condolences to the family and friends impacted by fatal shark attack on Rose Island
PRESS RELEASE: Deepest condolences to the family and friends impacted by fatal shark attack on Rose Island.
The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) was deeply saddened to learn of the recent shark incident which resulted in death of a visitor snorkeling off Rose Island. We extend our deepest condolences to the family on their tragic loss.
The BNT does want to state that this incident is not a normal event. Thousands of people are swimming with sharks every day in The Bahamas, without incident. Fatal attacks are particularly rare, especially in The Bahamas. The International Shark Attack File has noted that based on their 2000 data, we have a 1 in 11.5 million chance of being bitten by a shark.
Although the details surrounding this attack are not known, the BNT would like to caution all marine operators bringing people into the marine environment to be especially careful to not disturb or attract these large predators by feeding or chumming the waters. Sharks can be dangerous and a healthy respect for them is important.
Sharks are essential for keeping marine food webs clean and healthy, and their presence is a sign of healthy ecosystems. The Bahamas has some of the healthiest shark populations in the world, which generates millions of dollars per year for the Bahamian economy. However, divers, boaters, and operators should always be cautious when entering and using the water.
Every shark incident in The Bahamas is of serious concern to the country, and the BNT. Human-wildlife conflict is a very sensitive topic as human life is the most important aspect to protect and the loss of a life is devastating. The typical response is often a call for retaliation but the BNT urges the public to not resort to killing sharks as a response to this incident. We encourage the public to enter the water with care and avoid disturbing large predators to ensure that we keep both people and wildlife safe.