Operation Shark Slaughter

Mexican authorities killing sharks around Troncones after US tourist dies in attack.

Mexican shark attacks

According to Associated Press, the Mexican navy has begun a systematic shark hunt in the Troncones area north of Ixtapa three days after US surfer Adam Ruiz, 24, of San Fransisco died from a shark bite. At least two hundred baited hooks were strung out along the coast and at least ten sharks have been caught already.

The type of shark that killed Adam Ruiz is unknown, while those caught by the navy have mostly been smaller species that pose a low risk to swimmers and surfers.

Environmental group Wildcoast is in the area “to protest the senseless killing of sharks”. Wildcoast director Serge Dedina says, “It is unfortunate that the Mexican government chose to kill sharks as a result of the death of Adrian Ruiz. These animals more than likely had nothing to do with the attack. Since sharks are threatened in Mexico, this is the worst type of vengeance security imaginable.”

Adam Ruiz died while he was surfing with a friend at a break about a quarter of a mile offshore. He was bitten in the right leg sustaining a severe wound “that reached from the hip to the knee, exposing the femur.”

Ruiz died a few minutes after reaching the hospital from loss of blood, according to a government statement.

Shark attacks are relatively rare in Mexico. In 2006, the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History reported only one attack in Mexico, which was not fatal.

Sereg Dedina puts the Mexican government’s response down to “international shark hysteria”, which he says is misplaced. “Surfers are staying away from Mexico in the tens of thousands due to crime, not fear of sharks.”

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