Opol town deploys shark ‘spotters’ in MisOr

OPOL, Misamis Oriental -- In an effort to dispel fears of shark attacks, Opol town mayor Maximino Seno has ordered owners of beach resorts here to post beach guards who will act as ‘spotters’ for sharks.

In a meeting with beach resort owners Wednesday afternoon, Seno also ordered the setting up of buoys to keep swimmers within the ‘safer’ portions of the sea.

Seno said the LGU and the resort owners decided to keep the beaches open despite the reported presence of the sharks in the waters of Opol.

u201cWe cannot just close the beaches because so many depended on them as their livelihood,” he said.

Seno said more than 2,000 local tourists frequent the beaches of Opol on weekends.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (Bfar) is also deploying a boat to help spot sharks that stray close to the beaches in Opol town.

Misamis Oriental Provincial Fishery officer Teodoro Bacolod Jr., said he is warning bathers not to go more than 15 meters from the shoreline so they can swim back immediately to the beach in case of a shark sighting.

Last Tuesday, fishermen reported seeing sharks eating a human torso floating off the coast of nearby El Salvador City.

Bacolod said sharks were also seen feeding on fish wastes thrown by fishermen at the port of Opol town two weeks ago.

He said it was unusual for sharks to feed on garbage and dead bodies unless they are hungry.

u201cThe fishermen who saw them in El Salvador told us they tried to ram the sharks with their boats. The fish did not mind them and instead continued with the frenzied attack,” Bacolod said.

Bacolod said the fishermen told them that the sharks were about two meters long and appeared not scared of human presence.

He said they have yet to determine the species of the sharks.

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