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Staying safe in the water

7:47 PM, Aug 8, 2013   |    comments
  • Dr. James Gelsleicheter, University of North Florida Assistant Professor (Photo courtesy of UNF website)
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Many different species of sharks call the coastal waters of the First Coast home during different times of the year.

"Our area is very seasonal with regards to the shark population," said University of North Florida Assistant Professor Dr. James Gelsleichter.

Many sharks do not visit the area during the winter. The number of sharks in the area begins to increase close to May, Gelsleichter said.

Sharks call the ocean home and Florida has one of the highest amounts of shark bites, but one of the lowest number of fatalities. There are precautions you may take to prevent shark bites.

"Certainly things like swimming during the day time opposed to swimming in the early morning or evening when the activity patterns increase," said Gelsleichter. "Things like not swimming alone or not swimming too far off shore or trying not to swim around to many bait fish, those are chances that a shark might mistake somebody for bait fish."

First Coast News

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