Shark activity on the rise amid COVID-19 pandemic
UPDATED 4:25 PM PT — Friday, August 7, 2020
Shark activity is on the rise as a result of decreased human presence in oceans worldwide. The filmmakers and scientists responsible for “Shark Week 2020” content all noticed a dramatic increase in the number of sharks they came across while filming.
Researchers believe this increase can be attributed to a five decibel decrease in oceanic noise, which occurred as boating and shipping dissipated during the pandemic.
“It really gave researchers a once in a lifetime opportunity to study the sharks and their behaviors without the influence of human activity on the water,” explained Discovery Channel producer Howard Swartz.
Meanwhile, beach closures have resulted in fewer shark attacks in the U.S. since the beginning of the pandemic.
In 2019, there were 101 shark attacks in the U.S. To date this year, there have only been 14.