"You say Barracuda people say hun, what?...You say shark"...heck you know the rest.
So what's up with Volusia County, Florida anyway? This year they celebrated, or rather completely ignored the fact they have become the defacto shark bite capitol of America with a record 22 bites (no deaths) and counting as of last month.
What's a seaside county to do?
We say embrace your sharks and do several things:
1. Adopt the sharks. People will come for miles to see sharks, shark tourism will boost your local economy by at least 20%
2. Educate your tourist. What an amazing platform to educate people about sharks and sytematically debunk the fears of sharks
3. Celebrate the Volusia County Shark Festival-that's a novel idea
Now we know there are many of you reading this saying "you're crazy", perhaps we are. But we are also veteran commercial shark guys who have been in adventure tourism for almost 18 years. We know what works when it comes to sharks and shark tourism.
If you look on the counties website you'll note an almost 1970's whitewash about sharks, attacks, and the beaches of Volusia.
"Shark tourism" is not a bad word, and when the city managers in Volusia come to realize this they will also come to understand the power of the shark for commercial and sustainable gain.