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With shark encounters on the rise along the New England coast, state officials have the perfect opportunity to implement the United States’ first large-scale shark management program similar to that enacted in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Management programs are comprised of control measures that prevent sharks from swimming too close to beachgoers, and thus reduce the number of human-shark interactions. Sharks have long been portrayed by the media as man-eating monsters, and this negative image is deeply intertwined with lethal control measures taken by local governments in response to shark bites. However, such lethal action can cause a decrease in shark populations which can be detrimental to the delicate ocean ecosystem. This comment seeks to utilize available scientific research to recommend a viable shark control program to be implemented via state legislation. This comment culminates in the recommendation that New England states should establish a shark council comprised of various stakeholders with two central goals: (1) to research and implement the SharkSafe Barrierä, an electromagnetic deterrence mechanism, on public beaches; and (2) enact a public education campaign focused on the conservation of sharks in the hopes of changing the public narrative surrounding sharks.

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