Florida beaches closed after thousands of 'frenzied' sharks come close to shore

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A number of beaches in South Florida's Palm Beach area have been closed to tourists after thousands of sharks were spotted swimming along the shoreline.

Enormous groups of sharks have been seen from Boca Raton to Jupiter since the beginning of March as they migrate north after spending the winter in the south Atlantic.

Dr. Stephen Kajiura, an associate professor of biology at Florida Atlantic University, researches shark migration and has been monitoring the number of sharks in Palm Beach County since 2011

He told Palm Beach Daily News: "Coming into March, we're getting tens of thousands of sharks close to shore.

"In one flight from the Boca Raton Inlet to the Jupiter Inlet, we counted over 15,000 sharks less than 200 yards from shore. That's 1,000 sharks per square kilometre. If you were a swimmer, you would probably be within 60 feet of a shark."

Lifeguard Supervisor Craig Pollock said on Tuesday that red flags went up at Midtown, and the beach was closed to swimmers: "We got here this morning and they were thick, really thick. They were frenzied and chasing bait all the way up to shore. They were practically right on the sand."

Mr Kajiura said the sharks, mostly spinners and blacktips, are unlikely to bite humans as the water in the area is clear, so they can distinguish them from their prey.

According to newsnet5.com, doctors in West Palm Beach say they treat at least five to six shark bite victims a year, which are mostly minor, but warn that even small shark bites can cause infections.

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