MPs are reminding swimmers of the danger from sharks after sharing aerial footage showing large numbers of blacktip reef sharks.
PASCO COUNTY, Florida – Living in Florida has its pros and cons. We don’t have to deal with freezing winters, but we have a better chance than other states of spotting sharks offshore.
Late last week, the Pasco Sheriff’s Office released this video of a large group of sharks in the water just off Anclote Island. We showed the video to local shark research experts. They say they are blacktip sharks on their annual migration north.
“It happens most of the time every year, I think we just don’t see it.” says Jack Morris, senior biologist for shark research at the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. “We’ve had unusual weather recently with no precipitation, so we don’t get a lot of that tannic water from our rivers, which makes the gulf and the area around the barrier islands very clear. So, year after year, these animals are there, we just don’t see them as well.”
Morris says if you find yourself in an area with blacktip sharks, your best bet is to stay away.
“Blacktip sharks are one of the most notorious for biting surfers. Even if it’s not a surf zone, they could still misidentify you as potential prey,” says Morris.
“Let’s say you’re a northerner with really white feet, they might think it’s a fish and bite your toes.”
The researchers say the sharks only travel in large groups at this time of year and the migration usually lasts until the end of June.