Why are there so many shark sightings?

Reported by Colin Hackman - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

KURE BEACH, NC (WECT) - There has been a breakout of shark sightings recently in the area, but experts say they have has much to do with the people looking as it does with the sharks themselves.

The water at Fort Fisher has been cleared twice in two weeks after shark sightings.

It seems that we see more sharks in the summer, but that can be a result of having more people on the beach watching for the reclusive fish.

Humans aren't the only species that enjoys the warm shelf waters of the Atlantic Ocean, many others do too.

"With water temperatures warming up certain types of bait fish will be moving closer to shore," said Marc Neill, who works at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher.  "Sharks just come in for potential feeding opportunities.  [The] more people in the water, more likely you are going to spot something."

According to shark experts, most sharks in the area are not aggressive.

Neill said to avoid an encounter you should stay away from places where birds are feeding, because birds and sharks often feed on the same food source.  Similarly, you should avoid places where people are fishing.

"Don't believe the hype everybody has kind of got the fear in them because sharks are really not interested in us," said Neill. "They are chasing specific types of foods and they are not out there looking for people to take a nip out of."

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