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Experts express some theories

Although they all consider the June 7 shark attacks in South Walton a tragedy, the captains of local charter boats are not surprised.

“It’s just a matter of Mother Nature and opportunity,” said Capt. Gary Jarvis, who has been fishing out of Destin for more than four decades.

Scott Funderburg, deckhand on the Stelluna, holds a sandbar shark long enough for a few photos before it is cut loose.

“The problem is that the shark population in the Gulf of Mexico is larger and more prolific than ever before, at least not in my lifetime,” Jarvis said.

“There are more sharks today than there were 44 years ago … because fishing for these animals has been banned,” Jarvis said, noting that some sharks have been listed as endangered.

Related shark coverage:After shark attacks in Florida, experts urge beachgoers not to panic