Medical experts, aquariums using shark week as an educational opportunity

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FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCBD) – The International Wildlife Museum says there is a one in four million chance of being bitten by a shark, but marine educators and Lowcountry doctors say Shark Week is an important time to remind people to be alert when swimming in the ocean.

“People are much more likely to have an encounter with a stingray or a jellyfish, or getting by razor-sharp oyster shells,” says Dr. Matt Blue, a Emergency Room Physician at Roper St. Francis.

Experts with the South Carolina Aquarium also encourage beach goers to keep the habitat clean.

“We want them to eat what they’re supposed to and not eat anything that shouldn’t be there like marine debris or plastics,” says Sarah Hartmann, an Education Leader at the South Carolina Aquarium.

Hartmann says finding ways to respect sharks living in the ocean creates benefits all the way up the food chain.

“We always watch all the fun things where we see sharks jumping out of the water and we marvel at the number of teeth, but we need to make sure our oceans stay clean so our sharks are taken care of,” she says.

The aquarium encourages people to shuffle their feet in the water to ensure an area is free of sharks and stingrays.

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