Sharks surface through social media after recent sightings

Sharks on the move at South Carolina Aquarium

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - There has been a lot of buzz this summer about people and sharks getting a little too close for comfort.

Some might even say it's happening more often. The use of social media could be why people may have the impression of more sightings than normal.

A big shark and a close encounter are prime ingredients for a fast spreading story.

Senior Biologist Aronld Postell at the South Carolina Aquarium said, "Take a picture and send it out."

Steve Colman did just that when he snapped a picture of a shark he saw on the beach while on a run last month.

Stephanie Grace also posted a picture when a man reeled in a large unexpected catch on Sullivan's Island.

"I personally think its kind of neat seeing some of the interactions out there," said Postell.

Postell doesn't necessarily believe there are more sharks in the ocean. He says we are just becoming more aware with the help of social media.

"With cameras and phones in everyone's pocket, there's a lot more true evidence and video and then we can communicate this information out a lot more quickly. I think that brings up the overall awareness of sharks a little bit more," said Postell.

There are shark species of all sizes living in the coastal water. Some migrate here during the warm weather and so do we.

"I think one of the most important parts of the seasonality is ours," said Postell, "In the summer there's more people in the water so those interactions are going to happen more frequently at that point."

Earlier this summer Joshua Watson had an encounter that left him on crutches for months and teeth marks to go along with it.

Postell says it's important to know what to look for.

"If you see a lot of bait fish jumping in the water, something's chasing that bait possibly so that might be an indicator that maybe there's more interaction in the water."

Nothing in water has changed overtime just our awareness. Postell is sticking by that theory and says to go for a dip and enjoy the water.

Sharks on the move at South Carolina Aquarium

Tuesday morning aquarium staff moved sharks by elevator and custom made stretchers.

The staff relocated three blacknose and one sandbar shark. It was all to make room for a new exhibit coming next spring.

The sharks were put on stretchers then quickly moved by elevator where staff members tagged and measured each shark.

Aquarist Jen Skoy said, "Hopefully this wasn't too stressful. They didn't go very far. We had oxygen in all of the tanks from the elevator. That helps calm them down. I don't expect them to have any ill effects. They should start eating right away."

The aquarium currently has eight sharks on display and the largest is six feet long.

The new exhibit will open next spring and will be called "Shark Shallows."

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