Great white sharks spark fear and excitement on Nova Scotia's South Shore
HALIFAX -- Multiple shark sightings off of Nova Scotia's South Shore has brought high-levels of fear, anxiety, and fascination to residents and beachgoers alike. While shark experts say there's not much to fear, individuals visiting the area's beaches are doing so with a heightened level of concern.
"You think you'd stay out of the water," says Crescent Beach, N.S., resident, Linda Adams, whose nerves were rattled upon hearing news of shark sightings. "I don't want anything to do with them."
Meanwhile, other residents have kept their cool.
"Zero, don't even think about it," says resident Mike Stewart of his level of shark anxiety. On Sunday, Stewart even took his dogs for a walk on the beach – a true display of how unbothered he is when it comes to the sea creatures.
OCEARCH has confirmed three great white sharks have pinged off the coast of Nova Scotia, and multiple sightings have been reported, causing fear and concern. Additionally, water access has been restricted at popular spots such as Queensland Beach Provincial Park.
However, OCEARCH founder Chris Fischer says the sharks' proximity to the coast is all part of their predictable – and repeatable – migratory patterns.
"These white sharks are doing exactly what they should be doing," says Fischer. "They're all returning right where we tagged them, one year later."
Larry Adams has lived in the Crescent Beach area for 50 years and knows there are sharks are in waters. While he's heard stories, he hasn't seen any sharks; but he knows what clues to look for – like seals resting on rocks versus wading in the water.
"There is a seal over there on the rocks – there are a lot of seals," says Adams. "So it's possible there could be sharks."
Fischer confirms: where there are seals, there will often be sharks.
"What these white sharks are doing is, they are protecting your fish stocks from the seals," says Fischer. "They are preventing the seals from wiping out your mackerel, lobster, and everything else."
However, sharks have been known to attack and kill people. Fischer says people need to maintain a safe and sensible distance from sharks.
Meanwhile, while some residents aren't keen on getting close to a shark, they say the creatures add a level of curiosity and scientific fascination to the waters of the South Shore. However, they say they'll opt for a safer, more television-based view of the polarizing sea animals.
"Interested in sharks? The science shows, they don't attack people," says Stewart.