A massive grouping of sharks has been filmed from an oil rig off the Louisiana coastline, as the predators move en masse along their spring migration routes.
Video of the sharks was filmed from a platform located about 30 miles off the coast of Grand Isle, according to WVUE. From roughly 70 feet above the gulf, the unnamed cameraman was able to record hundreds of sharks as they milled about the area, clearly visible near the surface of the sea. Several medium-sized species of shark were identifiable in the group, nowhere near as large as their great white cousins.
— WAFB (@WAFB) March 23, 2015
According to Mitchell Chevalier, who tags sharks in the region for University of New Orleans and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the sharks in the video are likely blacktips and spinners. As he told the Times-Picayune, the sharks are simply following their expected migratory routes.
“Every year, Florida gets that big migration of blacktips coming in. Just like cobia, they swim on top of the surface going from the south to the north, going back into the warming water,” he noted. “The sharks in the video don’t look that big, so that’s part of the reason I think they’re blacktips.”
Though the sharks don’t typically make it to the Louisiana coast until later in the spring, their migration usually continues into June. Chevalier noted that many of the sharks caught in the region tend to be blacktips, bull sharks and spinner sharks, far smaller than man-eaters but potentially dangerous animals nonetheless.
“If the water’s dirty and murky and you bump into one, he doesn’t have arms. He’s going to see what you are using his mouth. Blacktips do bite people from time to time. If it’s a thick school and you’re swimming in them, it could happen.”
Last week, a similarly large group of sharks was spotted off the Florida coastline as the predators moved north. As the Inquisitr previously reported, while the number of sharks wasn’t unusual for the season, their proximity to shore was surprising for many researchers. That group was also thought to consist of blacktip and spinner sharks, which are common in the region.
While blacktip and spinner sharks are modest in size, they are responsible for a number of bites off the Louisiana and Florida coastline each year, which usually result in only minor injuries.
[Image: YouTube via WVUE]