Great white sharks hanging around South Carolina's coast

Great white sharks hanging around South Carolina's coast

MCCLELLANVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Great white sharks are hanging around South Carolina's coast longer than expected.

"These white sharks have been here this whole summer, and been down either into the Gulf of Mexico or into the Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina area all summer," Bryan Frazier, a researcher with South Carolina's Department of Natural Resources said. "We really thought that they were going to head back north, so we're really kind of learning as we go with them".

Frazier has spent the last 13 years researching sharks, but in the last two years, new technology and equipment has allowed researchers to track the great whites better. Frazier said the sharks have always be coming to the area, but scientists are just discovering their travel patterns.

Part of his work includes monitoring the population of sharks near McClellanville. The Bulls Bay area has thousands of young sharks.

"It's a very productive area. It's essential to shark populations in South Carolina," Frazier said. "Basically the one-year old and new born sharks live in this area for the summer feeding and growing and they're generally protected from predators in this area."

Despite the thousands of sharks and the great whites off the coast, Frazier said there's nothing to be afraid of.

"They're far off shore for one, but for two they're not interacting with people. They're going about their business. The bites we have in SC are not aggressive bites. They're not great whites."

The last time anyone died from a shark bite in South Carolina was 1852.

Copyright WCSC 2014. All rights reserved.