A shark seen swimming near the beach in this aerial view courtesy WNCT.
BEAUFORT, N.C. -- Sharks might be swimming closer to the beaches in Carteret County than you think.
Dr. Joel Fodrie, an assistant professor of fisheries ecology at UNC Chapel Hill's Institute of Marine Sciences in Morehead City, told WNCT that sharks can get as close as 10 feet away from the shore. He said you can see them naturally feeding near the beach from an aerial view as high as 10,000 feet.
"Almost any time you're in the water, there's going to be a shark somewhere near you," he said.
Fodrie says the sharks are attracted to mullet, menhaden and other fish that swim close to shore around August.
Fodrie advises beach-goers to stay calm if you see a shark in the water. If you're calm, they'll stay calm too.
"It's extremely rare for humans to elicit an aggressive response from a shark," Fodrie explained to WNCT. He said most of the sharks that swim near the shore are typically 4 to 6 feet long and pose little threat.