Sharks Moving Closer and Closer to the Shores in Florida
Spring breakers might need to find something else to do in Florida as increasing numbers of sharks swimming by coastal areas raise fears. The alarming numbers of sharks moving closer and closer to the beaches surrounding South Florida's Atlantic coast line forced beachgoers to be evacuated as beaches closed down for a few hours. According to marine biologists, these sharks are migrating from Boca Raton to Jupiter, FL, which started at the beginning of this month.
There were a reported number of 15,000 blacktip and spinner sharks in the shallow waters of Palm Beach County, FL. Although it is normal for these sharks to be migrating north, the sight of them is still quite scary. Sharks usually migrate from January to February, but this year, researchers believe that they are migrating late because of the warmer temperatures. Lifeguards immediately put up red flags as they witnessed these sharks coming closer to land, with some leaping into the air for prey. One lifeguard supervisor, Craig Pollock described the sharks as "frenzied and chasing bait all the way up to shore."
Shark researchers stated that this behavior is nothing to be afraid of. Blacktip and spinner sharks are known for jumping out of the water and spinning in order to catch prey. During shark migrations, as many as 1,000 sharks can be seen within a 0.4 square mile area, a sight that can be extremely threatening.
"It's dangerous. It's not what you would expect. Families come out here t enjoy the weather, beach, and sand, but now they can't. They have to travel a little bit further than they should," Guirlene Exantus expressed to NBC news.
Sharks may never escape the negative image humans have placed on them. Doctors from St. Mary's Medical Center located in West Palm Beach estimated that they treat up to six shark bite cases a year and they are usually not fatal. Although this number may seem like a lot to some people, it is actually very small when compared to the amount of swimmers that enter the waters every year. Researchers also remind people that blacktip and spinner sharks are not known to attack humans. Despite this, people are advised to leave their jewelry behind before swimming because sharks appear to be attracted to silver, yellow and gold.
In the meantime, swimmers and lifeguards will have to be extra careful around the waters until the sharks finish migrating.