A summer of shark bites - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

A summer of shark bites

CCU Professor Dan Abel (Credit: WMBF) CCU Professor Dan Abel (Credit: WMBF)
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

If you love the ocean, marine experts say you have nothing to fear.  One shark expert says although this summer has seen a higher number of shark encounters, a lot of what is happening on the Carolina coast comes down to chance and fate.

There have been at least 10 attacks in the Carolinas since June 7th; seven of them in North Carolina and three in South Carolina. This is more than the normal average for the whole year.

Coastal Carolina University Marine Science Professor, Dan Abel, is a nationwide shark expert and he admits the number of bites seen recently is high.

“Normally along our shoreline, the North and South Carolina shore line, the Grand Strand area, we normally get zero to three bites a year,” Professor Abel explained.

Professor Abel says it has been years since a series of shark bites like this were making headlines.

“The last time we had this many serious bites that I can remember was back in 2001 and they called that the summer of the shark,” Professor Abel stated.

Some marine experts say they do not like the term “shark attack.” They say a better way to describe what is happening is “shark interactions,” because they believe it is humans who are getting in the shark’s way.

“The sharks, that's their home. That's their home and we have to respect the ocean,” tourist Amber Freeman said.

For more on this story, visit out partners at WMBF in Myrtle Beach.

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