It seems like every week could be considered Shark Week in the Sunshine State. Several Great White Sharks are swarming Florida right now, drawn to the warm waters of the Gulf. These sharks are currently swimming off the western and southern coasts of the state.
The research organization Ocearch tagged five Great Whites that are now located off the Keys and Florida’s Gulf Coast. The sharks are part of the team’s ongoing effort to study and promote conservation of marine life.
The largest of the group is swimming off the coast of Panama City Beach and weighs 2,076 pounds. Her name is Unama’ki.
Ocearch reported on Facebook that Great Whites don’t normally venture so far north in the Gulf, yet Unama’ki seems to be enjoying it swimmingly.
The sharks hanging out near the Keys are named Ironbound and Brunswick.
Ironbound is 12 feet and four inches long, weighing nearly half a ton. Brunswick is eight feet and nine inches long and weighs about 430 pounds.
The remaining Great Whites swim a bit further off the coast in the open ocean, located just southwest of Naples right now.
These two sharks, Nova and Helena, weigh over half a ton, with Nova being named after the group’s Nova Scotia expedition.
A sixth shark teeters the open ocean between the Keys and Cuba by the name of Pico. These sharks seem to be enjoying the Gulf’s warmth, migrating south as they do to avoid frigid waters surrounding the northern coast.
If you’re fascinated by sharks, you can search for shark teeth and other fossils at several places across Florida or even free-dive with them. Venice Beach is a great spot for finding Megalodon teeth.
Ocearch also tracks sea turtles. You can check the website in the warmer months to see if you can spot the tagged turtles. Turtle-lovers should also check outand roam among the gopher tortoises.
Of course, these are only the great whites that we know about. It is quite possible there are more sharing our Florida coastlines in search of their next fishy meal.
If you want to learn more about Ocearch and the work they’re doing with sharks, go here. You can donate to the cause and support the protection of marine animals here.
For more photos of sharks, check out Ocearch’s Instagram.