Did you know that sharks are a common sight in Florida waters? In fact, there are many different types of sharks that can be found in the Sunshine State. Some sharks prefer the ocean, while others can be found in freshwater rivers and lakes. If you’re interested in learning more about sharks in Florida, keep reading!
The most commonly seen sharks in Florida waters are Bull sharks, Blacktip sharks, Lemon sharks, Nurse sharks, and Hammerhead sharks.
Bull sharks can grow up to 8 feet long and weigh over 500 pounds! They have a wide dorsal fin and a flattened snout. Bull sharks like to hang out in shallow waters near river mouths, estuaries, and bays.
Blacktip sharks are smaller but still impressive predators that can reach lengths of 6 feet. Their name comes from the black markings at the end of their fins. They prefer ocean depths between 25-80 meters and like to feed on small fish or squid.
Lemon sharks get their name from their yellowish-green coloration and tend to inhabit shallow, coastal waters. They are usually found near rocky bottoms and coral reefs. Lemon sharks can grow up to 12 feet long and weigh over 500 pounds.
Nurse sharks have a flattened snout and broad fins which help them move through the water with ease. Nurse sharks like to feed on crustaceans, mollusks, and small fish; they also like to rest along the ocean floor during the day.
Finally, Hammerhead sharks live in warm tropical waters around coral reefs and sandy bottoms. The unique shape of their head gives them an excellent vision for hunting prey. These sharks can reach lengths of 14 feet and weigh up to 1,000 pounds!
So if you’re planning on swimming or scuba diving in Florida or the Gulf of Mexico, be aware that you may encounter sharks! However, sharks are important for maintaining healthy ocean ecosystems. As long as you respect their space and don’t disturb them, sharks won’t be a danger to you. With some knowledge about sharks in Florida, and by following some simple safety tips, your trip can have a happy ending!
Shark season in Florida
While sharks can be seen all year, around, shark season in Florida usually runs from April to October, so be sure to do your research before you visit.
Sharks in the Florida Keys
The Florida Keys are a favorite destination for sharks because of the warm, shallow waters. Sharks like to feed on schools of fish that use the shallows as a breeding ground. Most sharks in this area are relatively harmless and just want to feed, so be sure to keep your distance if you spot one.
Now that you know more about sharks in Florida, you can safely enjoy the water! Just remember to stay aware and respect the sharks’ habitat while exploring the Sunshine State’s beaches and waterways. With some knowledge and preparation, your next trip is sure to be memorable – sharks included!
Great white shark in Florida
While Florida is home to many sharks, the rarest and most feared species is the great white shark. Great whites prefer cooler temperatures so sightings of them in Florida are quite uncommon. However, historically there have been some reports of sharks in deeper Gulf waters off the coast of southwest Florida, but these are rare exceptions.
Shark accidents in Florida
Sharks are wild animals and unfortunately, accidents occur. Florida is a common place of reported shark incidents:
The above screenshot shows reported shark accidents in and around Florida since 2010.
Most of those attacks are non-fatal. There is one reported fatal shark attack in 2010.
Close by in the Bahamas are two reported fatal accidents by tiger sharks in 2010 and 2019.