Swimming with Sharks

Have you ever noticed how memorable events in your life start out innocently?

That’s how I ended up swimming with sharks and a lot of other ocean dwellers in the open ocean tank at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island.

I was on a conference call with several other UNC-TV producers and the staff at the aquarium when Maylon White, the Aquarium director, suggested I get in the tank.

“Sure,” I exclaimed, “That would be a great part of the program!”

Shark Tagging

More than a dozen different types of sharks live off the North Carolina coast. Researchers with the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences have caught and studied them since 1972, creating one of the largest databases of coastal sharks in the nation.

Mind the Sharks

The University of North Carolina Institute of Marine Sciences has been surveying sharks off the coast of North Carolina every summer since 1972. Currently, the survey finds that the numbers of great sharks — such as Great White, Tiger, and Hammerhead sharks — have been steadily declining, but the number of shark bite incidents is increasing.