87ºF

WATCH THIS: Sharks spotted close to Miami Beach shoreline

Stay at home kept people off beaches during COVID-19, so nature out of hiding

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Since the beaches haven’t been packed with the chattering noise of beachgoers and the influx of a human population lately, natural inhabitants of the waters have, no doubt, become accustomed to the lull.

In the months of stay-at-home orders keeping people indoors, plenty of places around the country have seen wildlife taking full advantage of the peace. Nature has come out of hiding and back onto its turf.

Science News noted coyotes walking down San Francisco streets, snakes on sidewalks and city dwellers seeing more rats.

Here in South Florida, Sky 10 captured a view of a trio of sharks in the Atlantic waters not far from the shoreline in Miami Beach on Wednesday.

The predatory fish were spotted at Ocean Drive and Sixth Street in the early afternoon, a popular swimming spot.

Marine ecologist and Research Associate Professor Neil Hammerschlag, Ph.D., of the University of Miami said sightings of these small lemon sharks seen from Sky 10 in the shallow water is not unusual.

“My lab and I have actually been monitoring the occurrence, behavior, and health of sharks using inshore areas adjacent to Miami, including Miami Beach,” Hammerschlag said.

The study is called the Urban Shark Project. Hammerschlag said it has revealed that several species of sharks frequent the waters of South Beach and Miami where they are under threat from pollution and fishing.

Hammerschlag understands the fear that many people have of sharks, but he says it should be the other way around since every year, millions of sharks are killed for their fins and meat. Miami is now the epicenter of United States shark fin exports to China where shark fin soup is a delicacy.

“If sharks were a real threat to people we could never go swimming. The fact that thousands of people, millions of people, enjoy the water recreationally each day just shows that sharks are not a real threat.”

Wednesday was the first day of beach re-openings in Miami-Dade County.

If you’re heading to any of the beaches beware: natural inhabitants haven’t had visitors in months.


About the Author: