Are sharks closer to shore than realized?

Morning In America

(NewsNation) — It’s was scene out of “Jaws.” Drones flying over Daytona Beach in Florida captured a scary moment when a shark swam dangerously close to unsuspecting beachgoers.

Reports of shark sightings have become more common in recent years, begging the question: Is this happening more often?

Shark expert Dr. Yannis Papastamatiou, a professor at Florida International University, watched the footage and offered some insight on sharks’ natural behavior.

“This is just sort of the natural habitat of these animals and sometimes it brings them really close to shore,” Papastamatiou said.

He pointed out that sharks aren’t looking to hunt people — especially the shark in the video, which he identified as a lemon shark.

“That looked like a lemon shark and some of these sharks are going to be looking for potential prey items in really shallow water,” Papastamatiou said.

But this video was just the latest of summer shark sightings.

Shark sightings have become more common along shorelines this summer — and not just the mostly harmless, abundant dogfish.

In Long Island, New York this July, there were six reported shark bites in just three weeks. Beaches closed and beachgoers were on high alert.

Experts say sharks aren’t setting out to dine on people, but instead are chasing bunker fish near beaches.

Recent shark bites are likely mistakes, according to George Gorman, the regional director for the state park system on Long Island.

A recent study, conducted by experts at the University of Miami, found that sharks are swimming closer to the shore than people might realize.

“I wouldn’t even necessarily say this is happening more often this is just simply a case that we have sharks in Florida waters and so what you’re seeing here is that sometimes sharks go into shallow water,” Papastamatiou said.

And other experts told NewsNation that a big reason people are seeing more sharks in shallow water is because there are a lot more cameras around to capture them.

Plus, Papastamatiou said it was a good thing that people are seeing sharks because it is a sign of a healthy ecosystem.

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