As Sharks Close In, Pools Open Up

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Ppp 1019 Aq Shark Pool Feat

Throughout the last year we’ve seen news reports of sharks massing off the coast of Massachusetts in some kind of real-life parody of the cult classic “Sharknado.” In June and July alone, there were more than 150 great white shark sightings off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass., a notable increase from the norm.

Fear has gripped the community (at least the bite-sensitive community), resulting in fewer swimmers and beach closings, but it’s also had an interesting side effect: dramatically increased pool sales.

Apparently, as swimming in the ocean has lost its appeal for some, swimming in a pool has become an attractive alternative.

Craig Panaccione, the owner of Crossroads Landscape and Pools in Orleans, Mass., told the Boston Globe about receiving a call this summer from a woman who had finally had enough. She had been walking on the beach when she received a notification on her phone about sharks in the area. She called Panaccione and said she was fed up — with the beach, with the sharks, with the closures. She asked to meet with him right away and said she was ready to commit to installing a pool at her home.

RELATED: Go Swimming with the Sharks!

David and Penelope Rich, owners of Cape Cod Pool Company in Orleans, told the Globe that sales have increased about 40% this summer due to the phenomenon. “They have told us that it’s because they’re afraid of the sharks,” Penelope Rich said. “They want to go to the beach and feel the sand on their feet and feel the water, but then want to go home to their pools.”

Matt Wester, owner of Aqua Pool Company, a pool servicing company in the area, said he’s noticed that vacationers are using their pools more, leading to an increase in demand for his cleaning and upkeep services.

“Sharks are good for business,” he said.

Although it’s clearly boosted pool sales in the area, in truth, the threat of a shark attack is probably over-hyped. Gregory Skomal, a marine biologist with the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game, told NBC news that sharks much prefer seal meat. “The sharks are not here to eat us; they’re here to eat seals. Sadly, they occasionally make a mistake, but it’s really a low probability.”

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