NORTH CAROLINA (WTVD) -- There may be more sharks than ever off of North Carolina's coast - not welcomed news as spring breakers are about to descend on the beaches of Carolina.
The annual migration of blacktip sharks that head south from the coast of the Carolinas to Florida has begun.
But according to a researcher at Florida Atlantic University, the number of sharks making the migration is fewer than ever.
"Last year, we saw a dramatic decline in the number of blacktip sharks that migrated south," said Stephen Kajiura, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at FAU. "In fact, it was so low that we estimated the population to be about one-third of what we have seen in previous years. We want to make sure that these snowbirds come back to South Florida, because if they don't, it will have a huge ecological impact in this region."
These sharks sweep through the waters and weed out weak and sick fish species helping to preserve reefs and seagrasses.
Researchers have reported tracking as many as 15,000 sharks on any given day.
Odds are that anyone in the water will be within a 60-foot radius of one of these sharks.
Spring breakers beware! More sharks in NC waters