Shark prevention measures will be introduced in the resort town of Hua Hin after a tourist was bitten by a bull shark, even though a marine biologist said there was only a one-in-2-million chance of someone being attacked by a shark.
Prachuap Khiri Khan deputy governor Chotnarin Kerdsom confirmed that the Norwegian tourist was bitten by a bull shark while he was swimming at Sai Noi beach, southern Hua Hin, and the authorities had decided to impose measures to prevent further incidents.
These measures included installing multilingual shark warning signs on the beaches and dispatching more officers to ensure tourist safety, while the tourists were cautioned to avoid wearing colourful clothing in the sea and advised not to swim too far from the coast, swim alone or enter cloudy water.
However, fisheries expert Tassaphon Krachangdara noted that normally bull shark is not an aggressive animal and from an inspection of the bite wounds on the tourist’s foot, it was clear the shark bit him because it thought his foot was a fish.
Therefore, he suggested that the authorities should simply set up the warning signs for tourists and a install shark prevention net at the beach in order to prevent more cases of bites because of “misunderstandings”.
Leading marine biologist Thon Thamrongnawasawat said the chance of a shark attack was one in 2 million, while a fatal shark attack was even less likely. Globally there were around two people killed by shark attacks per year.
“Statistically, we have higher chance to be killed by bees, more than shark, as there are around 2,000 people killed every year from bee attacks,” Thon said.
Rather than unreasonably fearing sharks, visitors should instead be careful of more realistic dangers such as injury by boats, getting stung by sea urchins or poisonous jellyfish.