Carolina coast key point for white sharks during winter season; chief scientist explains

Researchers track several great white sharks foraging off the Carolina Coast
Researchers track several great white sharks foraging off the Carolina Coast
Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 7:00 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - After a white shark pinged off Myrle Beach on Tuesday, scientists shared the Carolina’s coast is a key point for them to migrate to this time of year.

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Two recent expeditions hosted by OCEARCH, a nonprofit with a focus on generating critical scientific data related to tracking (or telemetry) and biological studies of keystone marine species, including tiger sharks and white sharks, found one just here off Myrtle Beach earlier this week.

“In the wintertime and early spring, off the Carolinas,” said OCEARCH Chief Scientist, Dr. Bob Hueter. “It’s an area that these animals come to and feed. They’re not packed in closer to the beach like they are during the summertime in places like Cape Cod. But, it’s a very important over-wintering area.”

Dr. Hueter said the sharks come to the Carolina coast to feed where there is more supply.

He said OCEARCH tracks these animals after catching and studying them. He said it works similarly to a GPS.

Dr. Hueter said they do this to grasp a better understanding of their environments and patterns.

Although at first glance, they might seem scary, Dr. Hueter said these sharks serve an important role in our oceans.

“We need these animals to come back and put things kind of back into balance. Everything from, themselves and other sharks, to even marine mammals that are proliferating up in the northeast,” said Dr. Hueter.

Dr. Hueter said their goal is to bring back the population of these sharks, but overall to keep our oceans and all marine life healthy.

He said OCEARCH’s goal is to educate on the importance of preserving marine life to rebalance our oceans.

To learn more about OCEARCH or track sharks like Jekyll, you can visit their website.