Although the markings aren't clear in this particular video, experts believe that the sharks were either common blacktip sharks and/or spinner sharks. The Cape Lookout National Seashore posted one of the recent videos at its Facebook page, mentioning that the sharks were moving southward as of late last week while continuing to feast on fish, which the videographer described as "blue fish."
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Nancy Fish with the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries told WUNC 91.5 public radio that it's a migratory season for fish. This can lead to shark activity closer to shore.
"October especially is our biggest fishing month," she said. "The fish are moving. They're migrating. There's lots of bait out in the water for prey species like the sharks."
"Blacktip sharks are a temperate water species," added Mike Remige, director of Janette's Pier in North Carolina and who was also interviewed by WUNC.
Remige continued, "Although they come up our coast in the summer time, they're returning back to the warmer waters further south. And this is the time when other big schools of fish are moving back through the area. So, it really is prime fishing season and therefore prime feeding season for species like this."
"Feeding frenzy" is a good description for such mass feasting events, as the sharks appear to get so focused on their prey that they may accidentally beach themselves. While most make it back into the water, a quick tide can leave them stuck on the beach with a very arduous effort needed to get them out of danger.
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Out of water, sharks (and other fish) can really suffer. They begin to suffocate and thrashing on hard surfaces can damage their bodies both internally and externally. Older and younger sharks, plus those that may have pre-existing health conditions, likely are most at risk for beaching.
So far so good with the North Carolina sharks, though. They weren't the only ones to enjoy the fish feast. Fishermen at the site caught numerous fish without the use of bait, according to Brian Recker, who posted the video shared here. Many seagulls and pelicans, he said, also "joined in on the meal."
Photo: Shark feeding frenzy off the coast of North Carolina. Credit: Brian Recker, YouTube still.