Showing posts with label Shark. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shark. Show all posts

Monday, February 5, 2018

35% of 2017 Worldwide Shark Attacks Happened In Florida


COCOA BEACH, Florida – Florida accounted for 58% of all shark attacks in the U.S. and 35% of the world’s total in 2017, according to the University of Florida International Shark Attack File (ISAF) 2017 Worldwide Shark Attack Summary.

Both percentages are higher than the recent (2011-2015) averages of 49.2%, and 29.0% respectively.


The 31 unprovoked shark attacks in Florida are slightly higher than the most recent five-year annual average of 29 incidents, but lower than 2016’s annual total of 35.

Shark Attacks Highest In East Central Florida 

Volusia County (Daytona Beach area) had the most shark attacks (9) representing 29% of the Florida total, but lower than the 2016 total of 15 cases. The remaining incidents occurred in Brevard (Cocoa Beach area)  (7), Palm Beach (5), Duval (3), and Martin (2) counties, with single incidents occurring in Indian River, Okaloosa, St. Johns, St. Lucie, and Miami-Dade counties.

Researchers say that the higher number of shark bites in Florida waters closest to Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando is attributable to high aquatic recreational use by both Florida residents and tourists, including large numbers of surfers, and to the rich nature of its marine fauna.

Shark Attacks By Water Activity

Following recent trends, surfers and those participating in board sports accounted for most incidents (59% of the total cases). This group spends a large amount of time in the surf zone, an area commonly frequented by sharks, and may unintentionally attract sharks by splashing, paddling, and “wiping out.” 

Swimmers and waders accounted for 22% of incidents, snorkelers/free divers 9%, Scuba divers 2%, body-surfers and those playing in the wave zone (3%), and those participating in other shallow water activities (5%).

U.S. Shark Attacks In 2017

The United States experienced the most unprovoked shark attacks in 2017 (53 cases). This represents 60.2% of the worldwide total. This is a slight decline from 2016 which saw 56 unprovoked attacks, but on par with the most recent five-year annual average of 54. Significantly, the United States did not have any shark attacks that resulted in a fatality.

Outside of Florida, U.S. attacks were recorded in South Carolina (10), Hawaii (6), and California (2) with single incidents in Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. Significantly, South Carolina’s ten incidents were higher than its annual average of five incidents. 

Image: Great White Shark. Credit: Greg Skomal / Mass. Division of Marine Fisheries

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Great White Shark ‘Savannah’ Tracked Between Cocoa Beach and Daytona Beach


COCOA BEACH, Florida – A great white shark weighing over 450 pounds that was tagged with a radio transponder to be tracked by satellite has had its latest ping location off of Florida’s Space Coast between Daytona Beach and Cocoa Beach on January 1, 2018.


The 8-foot, 6-inch great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), named Savannah, that was tagged off  Hilton Head, South Carolina in March 2017, has quickly been making her way southward along Florida’s coast.

Savannah had remained just off the South Carolina coast as late as December 22, 2017, but then swam over 200 miles south to Florida’s Space Coast in just ten days.

The great white shark population has been growing along the U.S. East Coast, according to a study by NOAA Fisheries.

The study also found that great white sharks occur primarily between Massachusetts and New Jersey during the summer, off Florida during winter, and with a broad distribution along the U.S. East Coast during spring and fall.

Female great white sharks are believed to be mature when they are about 13-14 feet and can reach sizes up to about 21 feet in length.

To follow the Savannah’s latest location, visit the Ocearch tracking map.

Image credit: Google

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Study: Alligators Eat Sharks, And Sharks Eat Alligators

Alligator versus Shark

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Florida – Alligators will eat sharks if given the opportunity and vice-versa, according to a recently released study.

James Nifong, a postdoctoral researcher at Kansas State University, and Russell Lowers, a wildlife biologist with Integrated Mission Support Services at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, published a study documenting that American alligators on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are eating small sharks and stingrays. This is the first scientific documentation of a widespread interaction between the two predators.


“In the article, we documented alligators consuming three new species of sharks and one species of stingray,” Nifong said. “Before this, there have only been a few observations from an island off the Georgia coast, but the new findings document the occurrence of these interactions from the Atlantic coast of Georgia around the Florida peninsula to the Gulf Coast and Florida panhandle.”

Despite the freshwater and saltwater differences, Nifong said it is fairly common for sharks and rays to share the water with alligators. Many sharks and rays can swim into freshwater where opportunistic alligators can’t pass up a good meal. Although alligators don’t have salt glands like true crocodiles, they are resourceful as they travel between freshwater and marine habitats.

Alligators seek out fresh water in high-salinity environments,” Nifong said. “When it rains really hard, they can actually sip fresh water off the surface of the salt water. That can prolong the time they can stay in a saltwater environment.”

Alligators are opportunistic predators with an indiscriminate appetite that includes fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and even fruit. Because of their predatory nature, alligators may target people, pets and livestock as foodNifong said sharks can also end up on the menu.

“The frequency of one predator eating the other is really about size dynamic,” Nifong said “If a small shark swims by an alligator and the alligator feels like it can take the shark down, it will, but we also reviewed some old stories about larger sharks eating smaller alligators.”

Nifong dug into history and found news reports from the late 1800’s that described battles of large masses of sharks and alligators after flooding and high tides washed the predators together near Jupiter, Florida. One particular historical incident included in the journal article described how the sharks were attracted to blood from alligators feeding on fish. When the alligators were washed out to sea, the sharks attacked.


ABOVE PHOTO: An Alligator feeds on a nurse shark at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Florida. Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Monday, August 7, 2017

Cocoa Beach Shark Report August 2017


COCOA BEACH, Florida – Large sharks sightings in the Atlantic Ocean waters near Cocoa Beach, Florida have decreased in the last half of July and first week of August.



SHARKS: Below Average Large Shark Activity

Large shark sightings have decreased during the first half of July 2017. The last time the beach was cleared by lifeguards for a substantial amount of time occurred on July 22, 2017.

A 6-foot-long blacktip shark was swimming in water so shallow that it cut off children from the shoreline just south of Lori Wilson Park on June 17, 2017.

Blacktip sharks (Carcharhinus limbatus) 2 to 6-feet-long remain present in the surf zone and shallow waters. Blacktip sharks, although less fatal, are the number one species responsible for biting humans along the U.S. East Coast. The shark has black tips on its pectoral fins and grows to no more than about six feet. Blacktip sharks can swim in just inches of water where toddlers often play.




An adult sea turtle that was bitten in half by one large shark bite washed ashore near Lori Wilson Park on June 13, 2017 which indicates the presence of large Tiger or Great White sharks just offshore of Cocoa Beach, Florida.

Tiger sharks(Galeocerdo cuvier) should be cruising beyond the wave break due to sea turtle nesting season. Sea turtles are among Tiger sharks’ favorite foods and Brevard County is home to around 25,000 sea turtle nests every year. Tiger sharks often reach 11 feet in length and weigh around 1,000 pounds.

During Memorial Day weekend, a 12-foot Great White shark was seen swimming a few miles off-shore of nearby Port Canaveral, Florida.

On May 15, 2017, a 6-to-7 foot bull shark was spotted less than 20 feet from shore near Cherie Down Park in Cape Canaveral, Florida around noon. The shark was heading south towards Cocoa Beach, Florida, according to Alicia Murphy, who took the above photo of the shark as a wave crested.

As pictured at the top of this article, bull sharks like to cruise the waters in late May and early June around the nearshore wave break off of Brevard County where tweens like to boogie board and wade.

So it is no surprise that the last severe bull shark attack happened to a 12-year-old boy in chest-deep water off of Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach in late May 2016.

In addition to the great white shark and tiger shark, bull sharks are considered one of the “big three” shark species by the International Shark Attack File that inflict serious injuries or death to humans.

Bull sharks are common along the east coast of Florida because the Indian River Lagoon, which extends along Florida’s east coast from southern Volusia County to Palm Beach County, is an important nursery habitat for baby bull sharks. When fully grown, bull sharks reach 7 to 11 feet in length and weigh between 200 and 300 pounds.

A 10-foot great hammerhead shark (Sphyrna mokarran) was caught on May 15 off of Indialantic, Florida, about 26 miles south of Cocoa Beach. Additional Great Hammerheads have been caught in the same area in June and July. Great hammerheads feed on smaller blacktip sharks and can grow up to 20-feet in length and weigh over 1,000 pounds, but typically average around 11-feet long and weigh 500 pounds.



Spinner sharks(Carcharhinus brevipinna) 5 to 6-feet-long are present off of Cocoa Beach primarily beyond the wave break. Spinner sharks can grow up to 9 feet long and have a unique feeding technique of leaping into the air while spinning.


JELLYFISH:Barely Present

Recent winds have been blowing jellyfish and Portuguese Man-of-War away from the popular tourist beaches (technically, Portuguese Man-of-War aren’t jellyfish but are instead a colony of small organisms called Siphonophorae).


BEACH CONDITIONS AUGUST 2017


Water: Slightly clouded.

Seaweed: Sargassum seaweed is not present along Brevard County beaches or in the water.

Winds: From the southeast at 5-10 mph.

Near-shore Current: Slowly moving north.

Breaking Waves: 1-3 ft. with a slight chop.

Rip Current Threat: Moderate.

UV Index: 11 (High)

Beach Temps: Water: 87F  Air: H 91F   L 80F

Cape Canaveral Buoy: 3.0 ft. swell every 6 seconds.

Tides:

Monday August 7
H 8:08 a.m.  L 2:04 p.m.

Tuesday August 8
H 8:52 a.m.  L 2:46 p.m.

Wednesday August 9
H 9:34 a.m.  L 3:27 p.m.

Thursday August 10
H 10:18 a.m.  L 4:11 p.m.

Friday August 11
H 11:05 a.m. L 5:02 p.m.

Friday, July 14, 2017

10 Shark Facts On National Shark Awareness Day

Here are 10 shark facts in observance of Shark Awareness Day, which falls on July 14, according to the Discovery Channel:

Sunday, June 25, 2017

VIDEO: 6-foot Shark Swims Between Children And Shore Off Cocoa Beach


COCOA BEACH, Florida – A 6-foot-long shark swam in just inches of water, cutting off children from the shore who were boogie boarding in the Atlantic Ocean off of Cocoa Beach, Florida.

The shark was spotted by beachgoers around noon on Saturday, June 17, 2017, in front of the Ocean Landings Resort which is located just south of Lori Wilson Park.



A mother was boogie boarding with her children when she rode in a wave and nearly collided with the shark.

Upon realizing that a shark was swimming in the vicinity of her children, the mother braved the aquatic carnivore by going back into the water while waving her arms above her head to get her children’s attention.

Meanwhile, onlookers could be heard screaming “Get out of the water!” to the unsuspecting swimmers.

Luckily, the shark was more interested in feeding on fish than biting people and no one was injured.
 
Although the species was not positively identified, the shark appears to be a Blacktip shark (Carcharhinus limbatus). 

Blacktip sharks, although less fatal than some other species, are the number one species responsible for biting humans along the U.S. East Coast.  The shark has black tips on its pectoral fins and grows to no more than about six feet. 

Blacktip sharks are known to swim in just inches of water where toddlers often play.


Video and image credit: YouTube/Disc Golf Ant

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Man Bitten By Shark At Ponce Inlet, Florida


PONCE INLET, Florida – A 19-year-old man was bitten by a shark while surfing at Ponce Inlet on Saturday.

The surfer was bitten on his foot north of the jetty around 10 a.m., according to Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue.

A full moon occurred just last night, which tends to increase shark feeding activity along Florida’s beaches.

Although the species of sharks were not positively identified, three shark species are responsible for the majority of attacks around the Sunshine State, according to the International Shark Attack File:

Blacktip sharks (Carcharhinus limbatus) are the number one species responsible for biting humans along the U.S. East Coast.  This shark has black tips on its pectoral fins and grows to no more than about six feet. Blacktip sharks can swim in just inches of water where toddlers often play. Blacktip bites are mostly non-fatal.

Bull sharks (Carcharhinus brevipinna) are responsible for most of the fatal shark attacks in Florida. They are common along the east coast of Florida and juvenile bull sharks frequent the coast from Palm Beach, Florida to Daytona Beach, Florida. That’s because of the Indian River Lagoon, which extends along Florida’s east coast from southern Volusia County to Palm Beach County, is an important nursery habitat for baby bull sharks.  When fully grown, bull sharks reach 7 to 11 feet in length and weigh between 200 and 300 pounds.

Spinner sharks (Carcharhinus brevipinna) can grow up to 9 feet long and have a unique feeding technique of leaping into the air while spinning.

University of Florida shark researchers say that the higher number of shark bites off the east coast of Central Florida is attributable to high aquatic recreational use by both Florida residents and tourists, including large numbers of surfers, and to the rich nature of its marine fauna

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Great White Shark ‘Katharine’ Swims Near Brevard County Coast


COCOA BEACH, Florida – A great white shark weighing over 2,000 pounds is starting to close in on Florida’s Space Coast as of May 2, 2017.


Katharine had remained just off of Vero Beach in April, but now she is making her way northward to Florida’s Space Coast.

Katherine seems to like feeding off of Brevard County beaches in May. She made her closest approach to Brevard County in May 2014 when she was tracked just 1 mile away from the mouth of Sebastian Inlet.

The great white shark population has been growing along the U.S. East Coast, according to a recent study by NOAA Fisheries.

Female great white sharks are believed to be mature when they are about 13-14 feet and can reach sizes up to about 21 feet in length.

To follow the Katharine’s latest location, visit the Ocearch tracking map.

Image credit: Google


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Beach Closed Again On Cocoa Beach Due To Sharks

COCOA BEACH, Florida – Swimmers were once again ordered out of the water by Brevard County Ocean Rescue lifeguards along a stretch of beach in Cocoa Beach, Florida after sharks were spotted in the Atlantic Ocean near the Cocoa Beach Pier around just after 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 11, 2017.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Two Bitten By Sharks Off Melbourne Beach, Florida


BREAKING: Beach Closed Again On Cocoa Beach Due To Sharks


MELBOURNE BEACH, Florida – Two people suffered possible shark bites north of Sebastian Inlet off of Melbourne Beach, Florida

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Beach Closed On Cocoa Beach Due To Sharks


BREAKING: Beach Closed Again On Cocoa Beach Due To Sharks

COCOA BEACH, Florida – Swimmers were temporarily ordered out of the water by Brevard County Ocean Rescue lifeguards along a stretch of beach in Cocoa Beach, Florida after sharks were spotted in the Atlantic Ocean near the Cocoa Beach Pier around 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 9, 2017.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Kentucky Teen Fights Off Shark Attack In Florida


DESTIN, Florida – A Kentucky teen visiting Florida to play in a softball tournament was bitten by a shark while swimming in the Gulf of Mexico off of the Florida Panhandle on Monday afternoon.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Florida Surfer Bitten By Shark In Volusia County


NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Florida – A 58-year-old surfer was bitten in the foot by a shark Monday morning off of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, according to Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue.  
 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Florida Shark Attacks Rise In 2016


COCOA BEACH, Florida – Florida saw an increase in unprovoked shark attacks in 2016 and accounted for 60.4% of all shark attacks in the U.S. and 39.5% of the world’s total, according to the University of Florida International Shark Attack File (ISAF) 2016 Worldwide Shark Attack Summary. Both percentages are higher than the recent (2011-2015) averages of 49.2%, and 29.0% respectively.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Great White Shark ‘Katharine’ Swimming Off Brevard County Coast


COCOA BEACH, Florida – A great white shark weighing over 2,000 pounds that was tagged with a radio transponder to be tracked by satellite has had its latest ping locations off the coast of Brevard County, Florida on January 24, 2017.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

3 Surfers Bitten By Sharks In Central Florida


NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Florida – Three people were bitten in separate shark attacks that occurred within hours of each other off the east coast of Central Florida Florida.