There have been six reported shark attacks since June began in the state of North Carolina. On Wednesday night, a man in his late 60s was airlifted to a hospital after being attacked while in waist-deep water along Ocracoke Island, according to USA Today. The sudden rash of shark attacks is causing a stir in the Tar Heel State, but there may be answers as to why this is happening. Witnesses have said that two of the attacks have happened near fishing piers, which makes sense if the fishermen are chumming the waters. But what about the other attacks?
North Carolina has been experiencing very little rainfall over the recent weeks, causing the salinity of the ocean shore to rise, according to NBC News. Salinity is the salt content in the ocean, and sharks tend to like water with a high salt content. This means more sharks close to shore where swimmers usually hang around.
Another explanation may be schools of herring. People have seen large schools of herring near the coast of North Carolina in the last several weeks. Herring happen to have a wealth of nutrients for sharks, according to Live Science.
Sea turtles may be the culprit of these attacks as well. An abundance of sea turtles have been hatching along the coast of North Carolina. This means that the little baby sea turtles are heading out into the ocean, unknowing of inevitable doom if they come face to face with a shark, particularly tiger sharks. The birth of these sea turtles can be attracting the sharks towards the coasts of North Carolina, according to George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida's Florida Museum of Natural History.
Mix these reasons together with summer and a beach full of swimmers, and like Mayor Larry Vaughn from "Jaws" famously said, "we got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July."
A tweet from an on-looker at todays attacks
I JUST WITNESSESED A FREAKING SHARK ATTACK!!!! I WAS THIS CLOSE!!! — Jackson Fuqua (@jacksonfuqua) July 1, 2015