Tens of thousands of black tip sharks are congregating along the shoreline around Palm Beach, Florida and scientists are trying to figure out why.

8a994de3973015e79e9bdfde3026f249 1
Black Tip Shark Migration

Dr. Stephen Kajiura, head of Florida Atlantic University’s Shark Lab says,

There are literally tens of thousands of sharks a stone’s throw away from our shoreline. You could throw a pebble and literally strike a shark.

He and his team are studying the sharks that usually migrate farther south near Miami-Dade and Ford Lauderdale and usually appear in mid-January. Maybe the sharks have acquired upscale tastes? Could El Niño be the cause? To find answers, Kajiura plans on tagging 60 individual sharks with acoustic transmitters to determine migration patterns, their habitat and why they are changing behavioral patterns.

Black Tip Sharks Congregating Near Shore

Black tip sharks (Carcharhinus limbatus) are smaller sharks, not longer than 1.5 meters. Though they are responsible for most shark attacks in Florida, none of their bites have been fatal.

Kajiura explains,

“Even though we have this huge number of sharks, tens of thousands of them immediately adjacent to the shore here in South Florida, we have relatively few bites. When you consider the number of people in the water and the number of sharks in the water, you’d think there would be a lot of interaction.

Actually, people are more more of a problem than sharks. Statistics show that taking selfies killed more people than sharks in 2015. According to one survey, twelve people were killed in selfie-related accidents and many more were injured just in the first nine months of 2015. Distracted selfie-photographers have fallen off of cliffs, crashed their cars, have been hit by trains and have even shot themselves while holding guns. On the other hand, shark attacks have resulted in only eight deaths.

Just to be safe, people are being warned to avoid swimming at dawn and dusk. Just when you thought it was safe to be in the water …

Nancy Loyan Schuemann

Nancy Loyan Schuemann is a writer specializing in architecture, safes, profiles, histories and a multi-published fiction and non-fiction author and is Nailah, Middle Eastern dancer.

Join MU Plus+ and get exclusive shows and extensions & much more! Subscribe Today!