Shark Migration Starts Up Again

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Hailey Velong

Flags go up as blacktips swim off shore.

Kailyn Licari, Photo/Video Editor

As the weather warms people are heading back to the beaches. With spring break, the beaches were flooded with people but, the waters were flooded with something else. Hordes of blacktip sharks swarmed the shore waters, making red flags go up. Though many were disappointed with being restricted from swimming, the infested and potentially dangerous waters are no place for people at the moment.

 

   The Sun Sentinel recently reported that while surfing at Hobe Sound Beach, high school teacher Chris Bryan was bit by a blacktip. According to the Florida Museum of Natural History, “Blacktip sharks are responsible for roughly 20% of the attacks that occur in Florida waters.” Though shark bites are not extremely common, people should still be wary as they are unpredictable animals.

 

   The sight of the blacktips swarming the coast is not unusual, as this is a common occurrence at this time of year. The sharks are doing their yearly migration from the chilly North waters, down South in search of warmer waters. Many tend to congregate off of Palm Beach, lucky us.  

 

    Some Chiefs appear to not be bothered by the shark’s presence though, with senior Kyle Kangas saying, “Tourists and others may be more skeptical and wary about the shark migration then I am. It doesn’t scare me.”

 

   It’s important that these sharks should not be seen as nuisances as their presence is actually quite beneficial. A report from FAU stated that, “[blacktips] weed out weak and sick fish, helping to preserve coral reefs and sea grasses.” Florida’s coral reefs and seagrass beds are important keystones in the aquatic environment, which is why it is important; blacktips help them to remain healthy.

 

   It may not be fun having to share the waters with such big predators, but it is a tiny price to pay to keep the ecosystem running. It will not be long until they make their journey back, so just relax in the sun and stay out of the water.

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