MIAMI – In Southern Florida, the gathering of more than 1000 sharks kept swimmers out of the water.
NDJ World | Published: Mar 07 2013 Unusual
Several beaches had to be closed down in Southern Florida when a giant pod of more than 1000 sharks navigated close to the coastline. Swimmers were warned to stay out the water.
The pod spent the winter in the south and is now migrating back to the north.
The shark pod will gradually break up as they travel along the United States East Coast into North Carolina.
Beach goers could see the sharks barely a few yards away from the sand. Most of the sharks in the pod are toll sharks and black tip reef sharks but a few hammer head sharks, tiger sharks, lemon sharks and bull sharks were spotted as well.
Biologist Dr. Stephen Kaijura of the Florida Atlantic University, studies shark migration and says this event is common around this time of year.
“We counted at least 15,000 sharks during one trip. They were barely a few feet from the coastline. That’s easily a thousand sharks per square mile,” Kaijura said.
Kaijura says these sharks would more than likely not attack swimmers, unless provoked. “The water is very clear which allows the sharks to distinguish between prey and swimmer.”
The pod is passing through West Palm Beach at the moment. Dr. Robert Borrego, who works for the West Palm Beach medical facility says shark bites haven’t been numerous.
From 1882 to 2012 there have been 663 shark attacks in Florida, 11 of those were deadly. Palm Beach never experienced a deadly shark attack.
Borrego says swimmers can take precautionary measure against sharks to protect themselves. “Do not wear silver, yellow or gold. These colors attract shark,” Dr Borrego states. “That means not only do not wear clothes with these colors but don’t wear jewelry in the water either.”
Presently the red flag of warning flies above the West Palm Beach beaches, urging swimmers its best to be safe than sorry and to stay out of the water till the shark pod has moved on.
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