Tracking shark bites in our back yard

BURGAW, NC (WWAY) — Lately, shark bites off Masonboro Island have been making headlines. With two in the last month adding to the record of shark incidents off the Carolina coast.

But who exactly is keeping these records?

By day, you can find Clay Creswell working for the Pender County Health Department as a food and lodging program specialist, but in his spare time, he’s keeping track of all the shark bites for North and South Carolina.

“We get information on the weather conditions during the time of the attack, the sea conditions.”

Creswell works as the state’s investigator for the Shark Research Institute’s global shark attack file.

“these are the bites from the Carolinas also encounters and postmortem bites as well.”

Aside from the shark background on his office computer, his work space is fairly shark-free.
But step inside his home … Fossil displays and a collection of shark teeth he’s been working on for 30 years sit right alongside a shelf packed with books on these big fish.

Creswell says his love for the animal is what has kept him volunteering for the past 10 years.
He is the only volunteer researcher in the state, but the institute also works with shark biologists.

He says this year has been pretty standard as far as bites and overall it’s not as bad as people assume.

Creswell says in his 10 years with the institute, he’s only documented one death.

Categories: Pender

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