Great White Sharks in Florida

Great White Sharks in Florida

Are you a fan of thrilling experiences? Do you like being in the water? Then, diving with sharks might be the thing for you. In this article, you’ll find out from some of the most dangerous sharks for humans, the appearance of the great white sharks in Florida, to what is cage diving, and how to avoid shark attacks.

Sharks in Florida

Located in the southeastern region in the United States this state is a habitat of many shark species. In fact, it has one of the largest concentrations of sharks in the world! Florida is the home of 12 shark species and some of them stay year-round, while others migrate which makes Florida state ideal for shark diving. These are the top 3 most aggressive sharks in the world:

The Bull shark

Starting from number 3, the bull sharks or scientifically – (Carcharhinus leucas), prefer living in the shallow, inshore waters of Florida. They can thrive in both saline and freshwaters. This shark measures between 7 and 11 ft and they mass varies from 200 to 300 lb. They are very territorial and have no tolerance for provocation. Because of this and their aggressiveness, they are more likely to attack a human.

The Tiger shark

Number 2 is the tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) that can be found in shallow reefs and oceanic offshore waters. It measures between 10ft – 13ft and they weight around 850 – 1400 lb. This shark Is solitary and mostly nocturnal hunter. This shark rarely bites humans but is responsible for a large scale of shark-bite incidents and is regarded as one of the most dangerous shark species

The great white shark / White shark

The great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) on average they measure from 11 – 16ft and weight 4,200 – 5000 lb in maturity. They are responsible for one-third to one-half of the shark attacks annually. However, most of these attacks are not fatal and new researches found that as soon as they have their sample biting, they release the victim. This is all because of their natural curiosity. It is comforting to know that humans are not on their menu, right?

Great white sharks in Florida 

Great white shark

One of the most mysterious shark species to this day is proved to spend its winters off the coast of Florida. Or at least some of the white sharks. Tyler Bowling, program manager for the UF’s International Shark Attack File says: “I hear from people all the time who are excited because Florida now has white sharks, but they’ve always been here.” But the white sharks don’t appear that often on the surface in Florida, because the Sunshine State cannot offer the typical food found in their menu – seals. Many people in Florida and even in the Bahamas, believe that such sharks do not thrive in Florida water, even though there are decades of evidence.

Other things make this shark puzzling because no one has ever seen the great white shark mate or give birth. It is unknown how and where exactly they spend their life or how many are there. They appear on the surface as quickly as they disappear in deep waters, making it almost impossible to follow for further research. Despite having many questions around the white sharks, thanks to technology, nowadays, researches and scientists can gather more information about this massive marine creature. 

 Screening of sharks and other species

OCEARCH is a non-profit, data-centric organization that tags and shows the location of their tagged animals. It shows pings of great white sharks in Florida and not only but from all around the globe. Because of its innovative approach and unique collaborations it has helped scientists and researchers to learn more about the great white sharks in Florida and around the world. Why don’t you check out  OCEARCH’s shark tracker and see the magic of technology and innovative minds?

Diving with sharks in Florida

The Sunshine State is one of the top shark diving destinations in the world. There are two types of shark diving – cage diving or for the braver hearts no-cage diving! Some places offer no-cage diving and don’t require a diving certificate. Before considering no-cage diving maybe have the cage on first, just to get to know the setting and the feeling of being underwater with giant predatory fish.

Cage diving

The observer remains inside a big cage made out of strong metal that can withstand the ramming and biting of an aggressive shark. The shark is attracted to the cage by baits, or a procedure known as chumming. Cage diving is used for cinematography, scientific observation, and tourist activity. Most adventure lovers have this activity in their list of things to try out. Many diving companies do not require experience to get in the water full of vicious sharks. For a couple of hundred dollars, you can have a thrilling memory for years ahead. Of course, the price depends on the package of the dive and its duration. Nevertheless, the experience and memories remain and it’s a great way to enrich your travel experience.

  No-cage diving

no-cage diving

This is quite the experience for any thrill-lover. There are no metal bars that separate you from these predatory marine creatures, thus allowing you to take in more of the experience. For such dive, though, you might need a certificate to show that you are at some intermediate level. 

For the divers that are 100% in for the danger and excitement, sadly (or maybe gladly) there are no white sharks cageless diving. There isn’t diving with great white sharks in Florida, nor around the globe. Don’t believe companies that offer such cageless divings, because they might be a scam or put your life in danger.

No matter which one you choose, you’ll have a long-lasting experience! Before diving with sharks in Florida, you should research the specific price each company offers and their location.

Now onto the most concerning part of every ocean dive (with cage or no cage) and water sports as surfing, etc.

Shark attacks and how to avoid them.

These marine creatures have evolved and have turned into underwater killing-machines. Most of their perception of the underwater world comes from a sense of smell, hearing, taste, vibration, and electro-perception. Many shark attacks are to do with their sense of sight and vibration. 

Also, let’s not forget that this is the marine world, we don’t belong there, so we must be respectful. Most of the shark attacks are because they defend their territory, mistake us for wounded seals or any food that’s in their menu, or just a taste-bite because they are curious and, again, have mistaken us for food.

Advice on how to reduce the chance of a shark attack

Warning on shark attacks
  1. Stay in groups, because as any predator they are more likely to attack a lone individual;
  2. Don’t go too deep into the ocean, unless you are with a boat or professional divers;
  3. Swim close to the shore and don’t go near steep drop-offs – these are their hang out spaces;
  4. Avoid being in the water during their active hours (twilight or at night)
  5. Do not enter the water if you have and open wound, you are bleeding or if menstruating;
  6. Don’t wear screaming colors, because they are easily visible to sharks and attracts them;
  7. No excessive splashing or jewelry, because the vibrations/shining might attract the sharks;
  8. Do not enter the water if there are present sharks and leave immediately if sharks are seen;
  9. Download an app that shows if there are any present sharks around the coastline you are at;

– Sharktivity is a good app that specializes in showing great white sharks and their activity and movement

For further information on shark attacks, you can visit the International Shark Attack File

Always be cautious if you are going for a free-dive because sharks are silent and stealthy and most of the time, humans don’t even see them. The chances of encountering or even bitten by a shark are relatively small – 1 in 11.5 million. But if you ever go head to head with a shark remember to keep your calm and to NEVER swim away. You do not want to look like prey. Remain level-headed and stand your ground. Look straight into its eyes and poke it gently on the head. They’ll see that you are not food and most likely will continue on its way. 

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