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posts: 76

We are planning to go to Longboat this July. We been to Florida couple years ago (Disney) but now want just to go to beach and relax with kids. I was just wondering if anyone can give some inout about sharks in florida. I recently saw on news this huge shark migration where

they have to desert the beaches. Do sharks attack in shallow water close to the shore where most of people swim?

Tampa, Florida
posts: 7,101
1. Re: Sharks

In over 28 years of living here and going to the Gulf coast beaches I've not heard of any shark attacks on people bathing in the Gulf water.

That migration, if it's the same one I saw in the news, was on the Atlantic coast.

Bradenton, Florida
Destination Expert
for Bradenton, Anna Maria Island
posts: 5,429
reviews: 29
2. Re: Sharks

There are juvenile sharks in the shallow water. They are funny--about 6 inches long, and they will attack your legs. Not with teeth, but will simply bump you. The thing to watch out for in July is the stingrays. Do the stingray shuffle in the water, shuffling your feet instead of stepping. They will get out of your way.

Yes, there are sometimes sharks in the water, sometimes big ones. Someone in St. Pete, I think, caught a very large one a few years back. They do not come close to shore, however.

Tampa, Florida
posts: 7,101
3. Re: Sharks

I haven't even seen the little ones in the many times I've been in the water. Now I have seen dolphins way out in the distance. Perhaps some people might take them for sharks but the dorsal fin is a different shape and their movement is different.

Tampa, Florida
posts: 31,784
reviews: 9
4. Re: Sharks

It's an open ocean - there are sharks. Sharks are a crucial part of the marine food chain.

Sharks are also shy and do not view you as food, and attacks are very rare. Florida has the longest coastline of any of the continental US -- 1350 miles/2160km, and there are people fishing, swimming, boating, and diving on most of it every single day.

In all of 2012, there were just 30 attacks in the entire state of Florida -- none of the Gulf side, and not a single fatality.

you're more likely to be struck by lightning or involved in a car crash on the way to the beach.

posts: 4,169
reviews: 5
5. Re: Sharks

Reminds me of this quote: "No one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled".

That is actually from a survey from Thomas Cook and The Association of British Travel Agents on the 20 stupidest traveler complaints lodged by British travelers regarding their vacations.

I'm not calling anyone stupid....I just found it really funny

Destination Expert
for Florida
posts: 39,135
reviews: 22
6. Re: Sharks

The shark migration you saw was on the East/Atlantic coast of Florida. Not the gulf.

While there can be sharks attacks this side, they are infrequent as we are not the shark's prey. Sometimes they confuse us with other species such as say, turtles. Mostly they only happen when humans engage in high risk behavior such as spear fishing, and chumming the water where they are fishing.

The highest incidence of shark attacks are on the east coast, in Brevard and Volusia counties.

posts: 76
7. Re: Sharks

I am crushed by your post :)

new york
posts: 31
reviews: 32
8. Re: Sharks

not sure this is any indication of a shark migration, but while we were sunning on the beach March 17, a fisherman reeled in a baby hammer head shark, about 3 ft. long! Probably not a big deal, but it (and the cool weather) kept me out of the water!

Tampa, Florida
posts: 31,784
reviews: 9
9. Re: Sharks

one juvenile shark does not a migration make.

There are sharks in the ocean. They were there long before we were, and they'll likely be there long after we're gone, if we don't foolishly kill them all for soup first.

The ocean is their world, just as the land is ours, and it's just as important that they remain in their world as we remain in ours.

Your chances of being kicked in the head by a donkey are higher than your chances of being bitten by a shark.

posts: 15
reviews: 13
10. Re: Sharks

I am curious - following you visit to Longboat key - how did you find it ? we are going this year and very much looking forward to seeing the area for the first time - did you visit the beach - are there shark teeth to be found?

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