Protecting Yourself and Your Family During Beach Season
Protecting Yourself and Your Family During Beach Season
Beach season is here and that means more encounters with the finned kind.
A local expert explains how you can keep yourself and our sharks safe.
They are in sharks are masters of the deep beautiful strong and mysterious and they are already making their presence known here in south carolina a folly beach surfer was bitten on the foot to this past month since nineteen hundred our state has seen a hundred sixteen unprovoked attacks nine of them fatal attacks like this being bring fear to coastal towns which beachgoers they believe that these bites are intentional but that's not usually the case.
Arnold pos dell is south carolina aquariums dies safety officer and senior biologist walter geiger morning how you get the i know i'm one of the common charge that we tend to see common sharks depends on where you are but for the beachgoers there's a chance to see.
Well it's actually rare chance that people are going to see sharks i should back up their shirts that are in the coastal waters a black tip sharks black nose sambar sharp atlantic sharp nose and there's definitely a multiple species that are out there mr. average size average size you most of our coastal star charts are going to be a little bit smaller.
You know it's a five ft and under is going to be a little bit more typical are going to get a little deeper waters before you get into the larger tiger resembles a little bit more problems so that should at least put our minds at ease a little hopefully you know not everyone is comfortable with a short conversation but on but it definitely on the beaches are beautiful and i was actually the sound of falling this morning and it's beautiful out there and i highly encourage people to get certainly evident when you go into the ocean did chances are there is numerous sea life that is swimming around you and there could potentially be sharks close to the tend to come to the coast you know some church to get right into the shoreline you know some people even see him and some of the goal isn't stuff out on sullivan's yet those are going to be your smaller ones on the sharks are definitely out there like any of the other animals you know they're following their food sources in coming inshore and yet they are out there most of the time our work.
Water is just too murky to wear luckily most people can't see what's out there but i wouldn't say that would discourage people from going as the sharks really have nothing to do with us they don't want to to bite us they don't want to attack us because we are not their food source and ultimately you know animals don't attack something that's bigger than them so they really are giving him a big advantage coming after us if anything it's more the risk for them well there's also something very interesting to make a distinction that is a bite versus an attack because the fight is not an attack know in in that really is a case of most the situations that happen off the coast here and south carolina charleston specific these animals are chasing their food sources you know which are typically be smaller bait fishes and it really is a case of mistaken identity whenever these bites happen which is a good thing for us obviously i'm not for the people who get that mistaken bite but it's not like the sharks are hunting us in coming after us inviting us over and over and over.
That's why ninety nine percent of these incidences it's a single by the animal immediately realizes it's not what it normally goes after we don't taste the same that's actually always kind of funny thing when we feed the sharks at the aquarium and the really good picky eaters actually i think that's a good thing for us were in the ocean because if there ever is that mistaken bite they recognize it quickly and don't come back towards us and hopefully that mistake was on minimal hope that that's good news indeed the group feared great white shark.
Where did those typically swim good news for us the easy answer is colder water just to start it off there you know it is pretty cool that great whites are being found to be off our coast a little bit more and that being said i've always been there we're just learning about them or more with the department of natural resources research resources been doing a lot of tagging with a certain sum of the other one so it's not like there's more.
We're just more aware of them but for me as a biologist is pretty cool to know that we do have such a great ecosystem of animals that we can support your big apex predators on down but but again good news great whites colder water fifty degrees and colder and we don't die get in the water when it's that cold air that we never interact with great light here in south carolina very literate yes it was of the tips to keep that family safe because as the summer starts working to bring one younger children to be too hopeful though hopefully.
So what is a good set of tips for people both adults and children.
I usually look at a few basic things which i think are easy for people to pick up on one thing when you're out in the ocean are people fishing around you that something i'm always really mindful of because they're fishing for using bait they could be using chum and they are fishing for what we are trying to avoid possibly i think that's always kind of a good thing like if you're around the fishing piers you see people surf fishing leave move away from them just a little bit and then naturally bait if you see like a lot of bait fish jumping in the ocean that might be a sign that there are other predators and sharks other larger fishes can go after me as well but you know there's a lot of bait fish don't think i'd be a little bit more mindful in those areas and you always hear about the shiny jewelry things you know and those all can lead into it.
I think of most people are just you know to trust that the ocean is still very safe knowing good and i think everyone have a beautiful summer and a great experience or beaches excellent and israel will play if something has to bite you and it won't let go what to do what the sharks will let go pretty quickly if it doesn't let go you know you're going to have to try i recommend were punching than anything it's kinda interesting though because you hear about incidents for people to fight in the end and they end up getting more hurt because they're punching at shark teeth and things like that.
I think more often than not just realize that the animals can bite you in automatically let go because they're going to recognize almost immediately that were not their food source