I believe it is likely bull sharks because of the aggressiveness. Normally, a shark will do a "test" bite to see if something is food. When they realize what we are, that is usually the end of it (yeah a big shark can do some damage with one bite). These sharks are repeatedly attacking and biting each victim multiple times. It is either a bull shark, or a tiger shark. Most of what they have in NC are sand tigers (totally docile). My personal belief (and I have not confirmed this with local fisheries) is that we have removed so many of the fish from open water, they are coming closer to shore. This year, there has been a strong cold water upwelling on the east coast. This upwelling brings nutrients, which gives nutrition for phytoplankton, the zoo plankton eat those (tiny animals eating tiny bits of "algae"). Larval fish eat the zooplankton and it just goes up the chain. I believe most of the fish they are interested in are very close to the coast right now. Therefore, not only are they closer to humans, but they are also there to feed. Finally, I have seen reports about fisherman FEEDING the sharks when they see them. Terrible idea. I just cannot believe they are up to 7.
Thank you for your reply! That's all very interesting. I can believe fishermen would feed sharks like that, it seems so irresponsible. I remember reading that bear attacks at campsites were greatly reduced by making sure all food was locked up so the bears wouldn't come looking for it and then associate people with deliciousness. It seem like the same sort of principal might apply here. I'm sure there are many factor at play here, and I thought your idea about overfishing open waters playing a role was particularly intriguing.