A shark swims close to the shore in the Zahrani area. (Lebanon Diving Center/Youssef Jundi)
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Lebanon in jaws of shark panic but fears unfounded: expertsWhile sharks kill a statistically insignificant number of people annually worldwide, millions of the apex predators are caught and killed each year due to unsustainable fishing practices and unfounded assumptions that they are man-eaters. Rumors that an abnormally high number of sharks were invading Lebanon's seas resurfaced earlier this month, with images of half a dozen sharks caught in Batroun being circulated widely on social media.In Lebanon, where fishing remains artisanal, sharks nonetheless often find their way into nets.There are several species of sharks endemic to Lebanon, including the variants seen in the Batroun images – the bluntnose sixgill shark and the sandbar shark, which also have mating areas near Sidon.Ibhrahim Bouji, a local fisherman, told The Daily Star from Sidon's fishing port that many fishermen saw catching sharks as a "large booty," based on the image of them as a danger and the "enemy of man and fishermen".
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