Every Week is Shark Week in Miami
Every summer, The Discovery Channel’s Shark Week manages to unnecessarily scare the masks off of Miamians from Edgewater to Miami Beach. Luckily, local marine scientists are working to change the perception of sharks and protect this delicate species.
Despite Shark Week’s scare tactics, you are 30 times more likely to be struck by lightning in Florida than to be bitten by a shark. Reports that shark attacks are on the rise are partly due to the increased number of people in the water. In Florida, sharks typically move close to shore and north in the spring and summer and move to deeper waters and south in the fall and winter months. This can be seen every year when tens of thousands of 5 to 6-foot long black tip reef sharks migrate through our waters in the winter and spring months chasing huge schools of bait fish.
There are upwards of 50 different species of sharks that live in south Florida waters, but only about half of those species are seen regularly. To really appreciate the beauty, mystery, and importance of sharks, it is best to learn from our local shark experts.
Check out how you can dive into the wonderful world of sharks locally:
Citizen science shark tagging expeditions allow Miamians to get up close and personal with these amazing creatures all while learning from world-renowned shark experts.
July 31st: Shark Tagging Excursion with the Guy Harvey Research Institute – call 954-788-0208 to reserve a spot for you or your group
Ongoing: Shark Tagging Excursion with the University of Miami Shark Research Center – fill out the contact form HERE to reserve a spot for you or your group.
July 17th: Do Your Part, Buy Some Art Charity Festival at O’Malley’s in Pompano.
Join Veteran Earth‘s first “Do Your Part, Buy Some Art Charity Festival” to support the local non-profit, Sharks4Kids whose goal is to create a new generation of shark advocates through access to a dynamic range of educational materials.
Shark Week Episodes
Dr. Mike Heithaus, marine biologist and Dean of College of Arts, Sciences & Education at Florida International University and Dr. Derek Burkholder, marine biologist and Research Scientist at the Guy Harvey Research Institute at the Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography at Nova Southeastern University share the unique relationship between dolphin and shark that could solve one of the ocean’s deepest mysteries in this Shark Week episode.
In this Shark Week episode, Dr. Neil Hammerschlag, marine ecologist and Director of the Shark Research & Conservation Program at the University of Miami answers the questions of where Tiger sharks mate, where pregnant females gestate, and where do they give birth
The Guy Harvey Research Institute, in collaboration with the Marine Programs Division of the Wildlife Conservation Society, is using a combination of field telemetry tracking, satellite tracking and genetic approaches to assess the short and long-term movement patterns of sharks. Follow the movements of individual Mako, Tiger, Oceanic Whitetip, and Sand Tiger Sharks in their shark tracking app HERE.
Now that you’ve had a taste of shark science, it’s time to dive in and get your fins wet as a shark citizen scientist.
Paola Espitia is a marine biologist who focuses on inspiring a “Blue Minded Society” in which we live mindful of our actions on the health of the oceans. She is a Certified SCUBA Diver (aka mermaid) and knows a few tunes on the ukulele. For Blue Mind inspiration, follow her on Ola’pi Creative’s Instagram and learn more at olapicreative.com.