UNF biologist: Numerous reasons for more local shark sightings

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Video recorded Tuesday shows a shark swimming just feet from Amelia Island's shore.

Action News Jax’s Beth Rousseau was at the beach when it was spotted.

She spoke with families who were swimming in the water just minutes beforehand.


Athena Cira said, “It’s kind of scary knowing I was in there a while ago and they can be swimming around you. You would never know.”

Minutes later swimmers cleared out of the water when they saw another shark.

“The water is really dark so you can’t really see anything. It’s just really scary,” Cira described.

On Friday, Action News Jax reported at 16-year-old was bitten on the foot while boogie boarding in the same water.

Wednesday Rousseau asked University of North Florida biologist, Dr. Jim Gelsleichter, why sharks seem to be making more appearances at local beaches.

He said it likely has to do with their prey and possibly the water temperature.

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“There’s going to be certain years when the baitfish populations are a little bit better than others. So, the sharks might be a little more abundant,” he explained.

According to Dr.Gelsleichter, the 4-foot Atlantic sharp nose shark is one most commonly seen in Northeast Florida.

He also said there are more people on the beach in the summertime to notice sharks in the water.

Gelsleichter said most of the sharks will stick around through August when the water begins to cool.

He explained there are approximately eight reported shark bites in Florida every year.