Image: Bruce Grimes
Eduardo Verdugo  /  AP file
Bruce Grimes, an American who runs a surf shop in Ixtapa, Mexico, was bitten on the arm by a shark on May 24.
msnbc.com news services
updated 8/6/2008 3:26:10 PM ET 2008-08-06T19:26:10

Scientists have begun tagging hundreds of sharks off Mexico's Pacific Coast in the hopes of preventing new attacks on humans.

Leonardo Castillo, a researcher with Mexico's National Fisheries Institute, said scientists will attach transmitters to two sharks and track them by satellite to better understand their behavior and where they hang out.

Fifteen other sharks will get sonar transmitters and 2,000 more will get plastic tags that can be tracked by fishermen, who will be compensated for every tag they turn in and the location where they found it.

The researchers plan to use a special baited fishing line to catch sharks in the area and then tag and release them.

Sharks recently killed two surfers — the first fatal shark attacks along Mexico's Pacific coast in 30 years, according to official records. A third was later wounded near the southwestern resort of Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, about 240 miles north of Acapulco.  

Shark experts believe unusually cool sea-surface temperatures could be partly responsible for the attacks, but they also note that a dearth of data about sharks in the region makes it difficult to reach conclusions.

"We need to get to the 'why' these animals are coming so close to Guerrero's shores, which is so unusual," Guerrero state Environment Secretary Sabas Arturo de la Rosa told Reuters.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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