Shark sightings and attacks have made headlines throughout the Carolinas this summer. As we head into the holiday weekend, our experts have received many questions about how to stay safe in the ocean. Here are our top five tips to avoid interacting with sharks:
- Don’t swim by fishing piers: If you are out at the beach and plan to swim, pick an area away from piers. Fishermen and women looking for the next big catch may use chum in the water to draw in fish, which in turn attracts sharks.
- Don’t swim by surf fishermen: Surf fishermen and women dot the shoreline throughout the year, especially in the summer. They use bait to attract fish and where there are schools of fish, you are more likely to find sharks.
- Avoid swimming at dawn and dusk: Some species of sharks move inshore to feed on fish around dawn and dusk. If you are in the water around these times, you have a higher chance of having an accidental encounter with a shark.
- Don’t wear shiny jewelry: Sharks eat fish and often times shiny jewelry can resemble fish scales. Experts recommend removing jewelry before entering the water.
- Swim with friends: It’s always a good idea to have a buddy in the water when you are swimming, not just to stay safe, but because shark encounters most often occur when swimming alone.
What are the odds?
You are more likely to be struck by lightning, injured by a toilet, or even injured by a room freshener than encounter a shark. In fact, 100 million sharks are killed each year due to human activity—and on average, sharks only injure about 15 people per year. It’s important to remember that we are not on their menu, but we are in a shark’s house when we swim in the ocean.
You can learn more about why it is so important to protect and respect sharks by visiting the Aquarium’s newest exhibit, Shark Shallows. For more information visit scaquarium.org/sharkshallows.