Why Was Dangerous Shark Beach Reopened?
Authorities accused of ignoring warnings they caught the wrong shark
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2010 8:34 AM CST
Tourists sunbathe by the sea next to a red flag indicating swimming is prohibited, at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Monday, Dec. 6, 2010.   (AP Photo/Hussein Talal)
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(Newser) – Critics claim Egyptian authorities were warned that they may have caught the wrong shark after four people were attacked last week—but they reopened the beach anyway, only to see a tourist killed yesterday. The 70-year-old German woman was killed while snorkeling just one day after the waters at Sharm el-Sheik were reopened to swimmers, because authorities believed they had captured the two sharks responsible for injuring four tourists Tuesday and Wednesday.

But a local conservation group thought at least one of those was the wrong shark, after comparing it to photos a diver took of the shark responsible for the second attack, the Telegraph reports. Officials are baffled as to the newly aggressive nature of the sharks; just one tourist at the popular resort has been killed by a shark previously. “We are getting marine biologists from abroad to assess the situation and why there was this change in biological nature," says the tourism minister. Among the current theories: That overfishing is pushing sharks closer to shore in search of food, or that tour guides are luring sharks by tossing offal into the sea.