A video of an Australian surfer fighting off a shark in South Africa went viral earlier this week. Since then, swimmers everywhere have been worried about being bitten by sharks.
But Hong Kong has it all under control. The last reported shark attack was in 1995 when three swimmers died within 10 days near Sai Kung. After these attacks, the government installed shark barrier nets to protect swimmers.
And these shark nets work. Hong Kong's nets are different from those used in Australia and South Africa, places known for shark attacks. Whereas the nets used in those countries need to be lifted every few days to prevent rotting, Hong Kong's nets are more long-lasting. They stay in the water for around nine months, and they're inspected by divers at least twice a week, says Ricky Ng, president of Asia Divers, the company in charge of the shark nets at 17 beaches around Hong Kong. Thirty-two beaches around the territory currently have shark nets, according to a government website.
Since these nets were installed, there have been no shark fatalities here, although in 2013 a 1.8-metre silvertip shark was caught on film near Sai Kung.
But conservation experts say Hongkongers have nothing to fear from sharks at our beaches, and sightings should be welcomed. Ocean Park Conservation Foundation director Suzanne Gendron says "sharks are part of a healthy ecosystem".