Stand on a Palm Beach County beach these daysand you’ll likely see sharks close to shore, some up to 7 feet long, some jumping out of the water chasing prey.
Sightings of these spinner and blacktip sharks have closed county beaches this week from Singer Island to Boca Raton.
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According to the Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File, there have been 663 confirmed, unprovoked shark attacks in Florida. Of those, 11 were fatal.
Here are the top 12 counties for confirmed shark attacks:
Volusia-249 attacks, 0 fatalities
Brevard-111 attacks, 1 fatality
Palm Beach-62 attacks, no fatalities
St. Johns-33 attacks, no fatalities
Martin-31 attacks, one fatality
St. Lucie-29 attacks, no fatalities
Duval-22 attacks, two fatalities
Florida Keys area-18 attacks, no fatalities
Indian River, 18 attacks, 1 fatality
Pinellas, 12 attacks, two fatalities
Miami-Date-12 attacks, one fatality
Broward-11 attacks, one fatality
Facts about spinner and blacktip sharks
Scientific name: Carcharhinus brevinipinna
Size: Grow to about 9 feet
Distinguishing characteristics: Large and slender with a pointed snout. Coloration is gray or bronze above with a conspicuous wedge-shaped band or Z-shaped line on sides beginning near pectoral fins. Distinctive black or grey tips may be found on the anal, first and second dorsal, pectoral and lower caudal fins.
Distribution: Virginia to Florida, including the Gulf of Mexico.
Habitat: Coastal and offshore. Common in shallow waters less than 100 feet deep.
Feeding: Spinner sharks feed primarily on small, bony fishes including sardines, herring, anchovies, mullets, bluefish and tuna.
Lifespan: 15-to-20 years or more
Scientific name: Carcharhinus limbatus
Size: Grow to about 6.5 feet.
Distinguishing characteristics: Streamlined body with a long, pointed snout and small eyes. Coloration is gray to brown above and white below, with a conspicuous white stripe running along the sides. The pectoral fins, second dorsal fin and lower lobe of the caudal fin usually have black tips.
Distribution: Off the east coast of the United States, from New England to Mexico.
Habitat: Inhabit shallow coastal waters, estuaries and offshore surface waters.
Feeding: Fish make up about 90 percent of the blacktip shark’s diet. It also feeds on rays and skates as well as smaller sharks.
Life span: At least 12 years.