Shark attack alert as victim recovers

By Ilia L. Likou ,

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SHARK ISSUE: It is not uncommon to find black tip reef sharks in Samoa.

SHARK ISSUE: It is not uncommon to find black tip reef sharks in Samoa. (Photo: Wikimedia)

Shark sightings and attacks in Samoa’s waters are not new.

So alerts the Assistant Chief Officer Legal for the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Maoi’autele Amitonu Brigitta Fa’afiti-Lo Tam.

She was responding to questions from the Samoa Observer about a man who was recently attacked by a shark while he was fishing in the lagoon at Nofoali’i.

 “There have been past incidents of shark attacks, and the most recent attack as reported by your paper,” Maoi'autele said.

“The presence of sharks is a good indication of a healthy reef and good population of fish.” 

Maoi’autele said sharks are predatory in nature and are territorial animals. 

 “Sharks are attracted to fish.

“There are shark species known as grey reef sharks, white-tip reef sharks, and black tip reef sharks which are normally found in the lagoon areas (aloalo) and some observed close to shore.

 “The displays of aggression towards humans vary from one species to another and sharks can mistake people swimming or wading on reefs for prey in the presence of food.”

Maoi'autele also warned members of the public to be alert.

Today, a young man from the village of Nofoali’i is still recovering at the hospital.

He survived a shark attack that had left villagers deeply disturbed.

The man was fishing in the lagoon when the incident happened. 

One of the villagers who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the incident has left villagers concerned, especially since many of them depend on fishing for their daily upkeep.

“I’ve been told that the shark came out of nowhere while the young man was trying to get a fish he had caught,” the villager said

The young man sustained injuries to his hands and legs.

A relative told the Samoa Observer he was in I.C.U. His condition was initially serious but he is improving.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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