Just 24 hours later after the attack, at one of Egypt's most popular diving and snorkeling destinations, Tourism Minister Zuhair Garana announced that it was safe for divers to enter the water, the Telegraph reported. "We are advised that sharks will not attack divers," Garana said. "I cannot say that deep waters are completely secure, but shallow waters are 100 percent secure."
Meanwhile, a debate is emerging on why the number of shark attacks in Egypt has skyrocketed over such a short period of time. Local divers say shark attacks are extremely rare.
"Egypt is full of rumors and one does not know what to believe," South Sinai diving instructor Gasser Mohamed told Reuters. "I see that there are a lot of sharks in the sea, and the possible rarity of tuna fish due to overfishing seems to be causing the attacks.
Surge Desk takes a look at five theories on what has caused the uptick in attacks:
1. Israel planted the sharks to kill Egyptian tourism
Egyptian authorities see a possible connection between the shark attacks and Israel, according to Reuters.
"What is being said about the Mossad [the Israeli intelligence service] throwing the deadly shark [in the sea] to hit tourism in Egypt is not out of the question, but it needs time to confirm," South Sinai Gov. Mohamed Abdel Fadil Shousha said, according to the state news site egynews.net.
Egypt netted more than $11 billion from foreign tourism this year, The Huffington Post reported.
2. Exporters are throwing sheep carcasses overboard
Australians exporters on their way to the Suez Canal are throwing sheep carcasses overboard as they travel around Egypt, Hisham Gabr Ali, the chairman of Egypt's Chamber of Diving and Water Sports, told ABC News.
"I know for a fact that sheep have been thrown into the water by a boat," he said. "I don't know the quantities, I don't know the numbers and I know it was more than once ... because divers saw it."
Peter Dundon, Meat and Livestock Australia's export manager for the Middle East, responded to the accusation by citing maritime laws forbidding sheep from being thrown overboard. "To my knowledge there has been no Australian livestock vessel through there in that 10- or 14-day period," Dundon said. "There's restriction of 100 kilometers for the closest land that whole dead sheep are not able to be disposed of."
3. Tourists are feeding the sharks illegally
Even though the practice is illegal, tour guides have been known to throw shark bait into the water to lure sharks closer to boats so tourists can get a glimpse of the creatures, Elke Bojanowksi, a leading researcher on Red Sea sharks, told the Telegraph.
"I have never seen it being done by the dive schools, but that doesn't mean it does not happen," one dive school manager said. "It is more likely to be the glass-bottomed boats that take tourists out fish spotting for the day. Sharks are easily attracted by being fed."
4. Dive schools are "chumming"
Dive schools sometimes bait sharks during diving lessons in order to impress clients and outcompete other dive schools for customers, according to the Telegraph. The practice is known as "chumming."
5. The sharks are simply hungry
"Overfishing has also been cited as a potential contributory factor, as depleted fish stocks in the area may have led sharks to seek an alternative food source," the Hotelier Middle East reported.
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