'Tens Of Thousands' Of Sharks Spotted Off Florida Coastline

Dustin Wicksell

A stunning number of blacktip sharks have been spotted swimming within just a few hundred feet of the Florida coastline, as the species' annual migration toward warmer waters gets underway.

FAU biological sciences professor Dr. Stephen Kajiura captured video of the sharks' migration on Friday morning, according to CBS 12. Flying just 500 feet above the waves in a Cessna 172 as part of his weekly survey of the sharks, Dr. Kajiura managed to record images sure to give even the bravest swimmers and surfers pause.

"It's so cool. 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. They are that close."

— CNN iReport (@cnnireport) February 13, 2016

The blacktips tend to congregate off Jupiter Inlet, yet the reason why they are attracted to the area around Palm Beach County remains unclear. That motivation is the focus of Dr. Kajiura's work, undertaken as part of his position as head of Florida Atlantic University's shark lab, the Palm Beach Daily News notes.

— The Ocean Project (@theoceanproject) February 9, 2016

— Discovery Canada (@DiscoveryCanada) February 8, 2016

While such statistics may make it seem that a beachgoer is likely to be attacked by a shark in Florida, Dr. Kajiura notes that this is hardly the case. With more than 10,000 sharks gathering during a blacktip migration, the number of incidents reported each year is actually surprisingly small.

"Even though we have this huge number of sharks — tens of thousands of them immediately adjacent to 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."

Though they are hardly the only species to be recorded in Florida, as the Inquisitr has previously reported, blacktip sharks are nonetheless one of the most visible, and will remain so in the coming months, until this year's migration reaches its terminus.

[Photo by Kawika Holbrook via Flickr | Cropped and Resized | CC BY-SA 2.0]