BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Dramatic increase in shark attacks. The number of people bitten in recent weeks climbs to eight, but the odds of an attack are still very slim.

Marcus Washington clears up some misconceptions about sharks.

There’s nothing more terrifying than coming face-to-face with a shark in the water. Since it’s Shark Week, the National Aquarium is doing what it can to help people better understand sharks.

Will it happen again? That’s the question beachgoers ask, especially people hitting the beach along the East Coast after a record number of shark attacks.

There have been 23 shark attacks in U.S. waters this year.

In North Carolina, there have been eight attacks in three weeks–the most recorded in the 80 years of keeping records.

“Most of them are looking for small fish. Sometimes, if there’s a school of fish the sharks are searching for them and you’re in the middle of that, there might be a mishap. But the biggest thing is not to panic, to just move slowly towards shore,” said Jack Cover, National Aquarium.

Cover is general curator at the National Aquarium at the Inner Harbor.

During Shark Week, he says there are a number of events to educate people about sharks and their natural habitat–from shark diver chats to the first ever Facebook question and answer session on sharks.

“I’ve always been into animals, and sharks were really interesting to me,” said Daniel Foster, from Harford County. “But I wouldn’t want to touch one.”

In the aquarium’s under water viewing area, you can get an up-close look at the sharks. Some people ask–why don’t the sharks eat the smaller fish? We’re told they’re fed well. They even have live feedings daily.

“We do that while visitors are in. They can watch it. They can watch and really find out that sharks don’t really eat that much food, just a couple small pieces of fish and shrimp,” said Cover.

Little Wiley Taylor from Frederick County says he’s not afraid of sharks.

“I know the only reason they attack people is whenever they’re surfing because they get confused and think they are an enemy and then attack them,” he said.

Advice we all should remember.

There haven’t been any shark bite incidents on the Maryland coast or even in Delaware.

Events for Shark Week run until Thursday.

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