Turks and Caicos, July 11th 2017: Sea-goers are being urged not to be alarmed by the sightings of nurse sharks swimming in shallow waters in TCI shores. The advisory comes from the Department of Environment & Coastal Resources, DECR, who say they have received a number of reports from the public on the matter. However, they say this is not a cause for concern, and are kindly asking members of the public to leave the sharks well-alone for the safety of both sharks and humans.
The DECR assures that Nurse sharks are not a threat to humans, and will not bite unless they feel threatened. Instead the DECR is encouraging the public to observe the behaviour of the nurse sharks in their natural environment, keeping a safe distance so that the sharks are not disturbed.
It adds that the sightings are not unusual, as it is something encouraging to witness, and also indicates it is mating season for ‘these important apex predators’. In explaining the behavior, the DECR says female nurse sharks often swim to the shallows to get away from the unwanted attention of a male shark. It adds that the female sharks avoid males by swimming to shallow water and bury their pectoral fins in the sand, so that the males are unable to bite the fin in order to mate.
In its public message, the DECR is urging public safety in keeping TCI ‘beautiful by nature’ and allow these creatures the safety they require to keep our reefs and ocean healthy.