Open season on Russian jaws declared

Following two recent incidents of shark attacks in the Russian Far East, the authorities in Primorye have come up with a straightforward solution and announced that local sharks will be dealt with by professional fishermen.

­“We are planning to take out a number of fishing boats to catch sharks in the near future,” governor Sergey Darkin said today in a video address, Itar-Tass reports. He also called upon locals and visitors to refrain from swimming in the sea along the entire coastline of the region, particularly stressing the danger of deeper waters.

According to the governor, a special operation group has been made up of local authorities, scientists, emergency response specialists and members of law-enforcement services. Police boats and teams of the Emergencies Ministry are currently patrolling the coastline. No new cases of shark attacks have been reported so far.

The beaches along Russia’s Pacific coast are full of people this August, but those willing to go into water are few, despite the heat. Those who dare, remain in shallow waters. Patrol boats are cruising along the coastline outside Vladivostok – Russia’s main city in the region – to warn people of potential danger. To add to the mood of anxiety, local authorities have reported a shoal of large sharks near the island of Russky, just a few kilometers from Vladivostok.

The first attack occurred on Wednesday about 50 meters off the coast in Telyakovsky Bay in southern Primorye, when a 25-year-old man lost both his forearms after being mauled by what is thought to be a four-meter-long Great White shark. He was immediately taken to a hospital in the village of Slavyanka in a serious condition and underwent surgery. According to his doctors, the man’s life is not in danger and he will soon be transferred to Vladivostok for further treatment.

The second attack took place less than 24 hours after the first one. This time, a 16-year-old sustained serious injuries to his leg while diving for scallops. His wetsuit is thought to have saved him from more serious injuries. The boy was hospitalized in Vladivostok and his life in not in danger. The medical staff say they will probably be able to save his leg.

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