This Conversation Really Happened Last Week.
The price drop for a factory boat processed can of tuna has dropped more than 40%.
What that generally indicates is an abundance of market supply, too substantial for just a general drop in demand. Unfortunately, this also means a depletion of resource origin in the water, less tuna swimming about. Noting a significant shelf price drop indicates the supply growth is several months past.
So I checked global price sourcing. [Because sport tuna fishing has been a hobby of mine since an accidental catch of a 300 lb “Big Eye” two decades ago netted me enough money to buy a brand new car] Yep, confirmed, early 2015 Global pricing reflected a tuna price nosedive amid the more famous Japanese markets for “Bluefin”, a market indicator.
Too many of all Tuna species harvested. What does that mean?
That next higher up species is ‘SHARKS’.
That’s why evolution has taught tuna, and all oily fish species, to swim so darned fast.
Spring brings the shark migration from South to North, following the Eastern Atlantic gulfstream. Slow weekly circles in ever increasing latitudes, headed North, leaving the too warm water behind them and headed to cooler climates further North.
If the traveling food sources along the Eastern Seaboard are “less than” optimal, ie. the tuna pods/schools are sparse, the sharks will travel further inshore in search of food.
This year? Yep, yep, yep (links above). As would be expected.
You can log into any Oceanographic search site for sharks and see how the tagged sharks are tracking to confirm any suspicions therein. Sure enough, Spring/Summer 2015 shows the migratory pattern closer to shore as the bigger predators move in and back out in search of food.
Add the blend of any fishing pier near beach-goers to a hungry predation and a fisherman’s ordinary bait in the water can draw additional attention from a passing shark.
LOOK IN THE BACKGROUND ↓
Bull sharks and Hammerheads are the most common to enter the more shallow waters, the pelagic zone; However, the larger species, Tiger and even Great White, will follow their hunger pangs too; albeit with exponential rarity due mostly to the scope of their caloric demands.
So when you see the shark attacks this past weekend at Oak Island North Carolina you have a convergence of issues: ♦ The overfishing of their food source, tuna. ♦ The migration along the coast April – August. ♦ A Fishing Pier with bait and food source nearby putting scent in the water. ♦ Swimmers in the immediate vicinity, on body boards giving the appearance/profile of a food source – ergo attack and release.
*NOTE* the non-technical difference between a shark “bite” and a shark “attack” is the removal of part of the victim. “Bites” are more common than “attacks”. If the human victim loses a portion of their body, it is then called an “attack”. Most “attacks” are a consequence of more stimuli where the predator views the visible profile of the victim as a natural food source.
People swimming or wading in the water – not on surfboards, paddleboards, or body boards – are usually just bitten. People in the water on surfboards, paddleboards, or body boards are more likely to be “attacked”.
People simply look more like a food source (seals, and larger fish) when they are paddling with their arms and legs to the side of a board.
You can expect to see increased ongoing reports of shark and human encounters as these recent “attacks” have gained national media attention. The bites which preceded them were barely noticed.
The current migratory pattern continues to move further North each week, and if there is a lack of food supply in the region, the sharks will travel further toward shore looking to increase their success rate (eat rays too) in shallower water.
Summary: It might sound silly but when you see cheap tuna prices in the supermarket, be more cautious when you reach the shore on vacation. Sorry, if you just bought your first stand up paddle boards for beginners, I don’t want to discourage you so here are a few tips: Don’t swim near fishing piers, and be more cautious about using body boards and surfboards when you are paddling (think about your below surface profile). Skip swimming at dawn (sunrise) and dusk (sunset), and avoid completely swimming at night – especially during a full or bright moon.
Heads up New Jersey !