MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is asking fishermen and swimmers to voluntarily take steps to avoid attracting sharks to areas and at times when people are swimming.
Officials recommended steps anglers can take to avoid attracting sharks to swimming areas:
- Avoid fishing among swimmers. Fishing for any species on a crowded beach can cause injuries.
- Schedule beach fishing times at night or in the early morning, before the beaches get crowded.
- Never actively chum for sharks along a swimming beach. This increases the chances sharks may enter the area and in a feeding mode. Additionally, hooking a large shark on a swimming beach could result in the angler cutting himself or others with the fishing line.
Sharks are predatory fishes that are common in the nearshore coastal waters of North Carolina, particularly during summer. They are attracted to the numerous baitfish, as well as pier structures, but can occur throughout the surf zone.
Here are some steps swimmers can take to prevent shark attacks:
- Avoid swimming in areas where people are fishing.
- Do not enter the water if you are bleeding, because a shark’s sense of smell is highly sensitive.
- Avoid wearing shiny jewelry that a shark may mistake for a fish.
These and other tips for swimmers can be found in a brochure called Shark Sense, published by N.C. Sea Grant and available online at http://ncseagrant.ncsu.edu/ncseagrant_docs/products/2000s/shark_sense.pdf.