Beachgoers report shark sightings along the Grand Strand

Grand Strand

(NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC WBTW) Recently beachgoers have reported shark sightings off the Grand Strand coastline.

According to one local marine life expert, the most common type of sharks we see along the Carolina coast are Blacktip sharks, Sandbar sharks and Spinner sharks. Daniel Abel, shark researcher and Coastal Carolina University professor tells News13, more dangerous species like Bull sharks and Lemon sharks are not common in our area. 

He says though White sharks can be spotted in the Carolinas, they generally stay further off shore.

Experts say, most often when a shark bites a human, it’s a case of mistaken identity because humans are not on their menu.

“In most cases the sharks release because we are distasteful,” Abel said. “I had an occasion just about a month ago where a small shark bit my finger because I was stupid, and the minute tasted it was human it let go.”

What has many people who have spotted sharks concerned, is how close to shore they are. Abel says this is because of the type of fish the sharks eat and migration patterns.

“They are closer to the shore in the summertime than they are in the winter,” Abel said. “We don’t have nearly the same mixture of sharks in the winter than we do in the summer, but we don’t have as many people on the beach in the winter.”

To track sharks in real time, click here.

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