How to protect yourself from sharks at the beach

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Before you head out to the beach this holiday weekend, make sure you're aware of how to prevent encounters with sharks. (KTRK)

At beaches on both sides of the continent, swimmers are on alert after a spate of shark sightings.

Shocking drone footage shows seemingly unaware swimmers and boaters inching closer and closer to sharks -- but is it humans the sharks are after?

"[Sharks are] shifting their habitat use to areas close to shore because that's where seals are," Dr. Greg Skomal, a biologist with Massachusett's Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, told ABC News. "We are not on their menu, but be precautionary."

Officials warn swimmers to avoid areas with large seal populations and to stay out of the water at dusk and dawn, prime feeding time for sharks.

For added safety, swimmers should avoid swimming alone and should make it a habit to stay close to the shore.

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