Ministry On Sightings Of Hammerhead Shark

June 6, 2018

Following the most recent shark sighting at Shelly Bay, the Ministry said it is likely the same one as seen over the past few months and said that while there is no need for alarm, “under no circumstances should anyone attempt to approach or handle the shark in any way.”

The Ministry said, “On Sunday 4th June, 2018, the Ministry of Home Affairs was alerted to a shark sighting at Shelly Bay through social media and direct phone calls. An Officer attended the scene within 30 minutes of being alerted but the shark had already departed the area.

“The films circulating on social media indicate that the shark is a hammerhead [Sphyrna sp.] although an exact identification of species is not possible. The animal appears to be the same size as previous sightings over the past few months, and is likely the same animal.

“While sightings of sharks are rare in inshore Bermuda waters, especially along our beaches, it is not unheard of and there are a number of accounts in the records.

“The Ministry would like to state that there is no need for alarm in these types of events. Out of an abundance of caution, it is recommended that swimmers exit the water in a calm manner and wait for the animal to leave the area before entering again. Under no circumstances should anyone attempt to approach or handle the shark in any way.

Video circulating:

“Hammerheads are typically not aggressive to humans unless provoked and account for zero fatalities annually. There are only a few instances of unprovoked attacks in all the records worldwide and these have all been attributed to much larger animals than the one sighted.

“It is not known why this animal is moving around Bermuda’s inshore water but it is likely due to the abundance of prey items notably fish, rays, crustaceans and cephalopods such as squid and octopus.

“There are nine species of hammerhead sharks globally with several species classified as endangered on the World Conservation Union’s [IUCN] 2008 Red List of Threatened Species, meaning that they are facing a very high risk of extinction due to human impacts and activities.

“The public can contact the Bermuda Aquarium & Museum and Zoo at 293-2727 or to a report a shark sighting inshore.”

Last month, local expert Choy Aming had made a similar point, saying he is “almost positive that the same hammerhead is being spotted repeatedly.”

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Comments (12)

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  1. inna says:

    The Ministry has spoken!

  2. Onion Puke says:

    If it hangs around long enough I’m sure Major General Captain Burch will insult it.

  3. wahoo says:

    We should give him a name and put him in the limelight! Maybe toothy or fintech (get it? sharks have fins) anyhow I like him/her.

  4. Hmmm says:

    well this confirms the ministry can read… Choy Amings article regarding the shark.

    • mixitup says:

      What would make you think they couldn’t read? Oh right, nevermind.

  5. just wondering says:

    So glad the Ministry finally decided to say something – after days of social media and press media attention and the experts like Choy telling us in fact what the situation actually is – way to be responsive!! In related news people should also not approach or handle Portuguese man of war and lionfish :)

    • wahoo says:

      ….or ministers with their nickers in a twist.

  6. mixitup says:

    So we can go to Challenger Banks and tag fish but can’t tag a shark practically sitting on the Beach at Shelly Bay? Tag him, set up a ‘Where’s Hammie’ app and wish everyone a great summer! Simple, I would do it but I don’t have the time.

    • Bda bye says:

      Now there is a great idea. He could be tracked and become a media sensation. Bermuda’s pet hammerhead.