Are There Sharks Near Miami Beach?

It doesn’t get any better than going out in the sun, jumping in the water, and swimming in the ocean. Things can get ugly if you spot a hungry animal with sharp teeth swimming next to you, though. If you’re in Florida, you can’t help but wonder, are there sharks near Miami Beach?

There are fifteen different types of sharks near Miami Beach. People often spot these animals swimming in the shallow waters near the beach, which sharks often use as breeding and feeding grounds. The shark population near the coast has decreased due to pollution and overurbanization.

Knowing there are sharks around is not enough to handle a possible encounter. You need to know how to act, whether they’ll attack you, and the chances of a shark attack when you spot one.

Can You See Sharks In Miami Beach?

Miami Beach is a world-famous shark hotspot. People travel there to see (and sometimes swim with) sharks. No place in the world has a bigger shark population than South Florida, and Miami Beach is one of its most visited cities.

Does that mean Miami Beach is too dangerous for people? Not at all! Sharks tend not to attack humans unless someone provokes them. At the same time, people hungry for an adrenaline rush can hire shark diving services.

That’s right! You can swim around sharks for a small fee, so you can bet these animals are not that dangerous.

While a Miami shark diving tour may not be in your plans, you can still spot different sharks from a safe distance if you want to.

Are Sharks Found In Miami Beach All Year Around?

You can see sharks on Miami beach all year round. Different types will pop up during different times of the year. If you want to spot the biggest number of sharks, you should travel to Miami Beach during the middle of the year.

Only three shark types will appear in Miami Beach all year, the whale shark, nurse shark, and lemon shark.

Other types are seasonal. You’ll find the small-tooth sawfish during winter and the reef shark during summer.

The rest will appear throughout the year, often in four to six-month periods. For example, the Bull shark (the one you often picture in your head when you think about sharks) swims in Miami Beach waters from January to June.

What Types Of Sharks Are Found Near Miami?

You’ll find 15 different types of sharks swimming in Miami Beach. It doesn’t matter when you decide to visit because sharks are swimming there year-round. For example, you’ll find the biggest shark, the whale shark, swimming there throughout the year.

Although migratory patterns are not set in stone, most types of sharks tend to migrate to the Miami Beach area for three to four months at a time. Here’s a rough list of the various sharks you can expect and when to expect them in Miami Beach:

  • Lemon sharks, Nurse sharks, and Whale sharks (Year-round)
  • Great hammerhead sharks (January to May)
  • Bull sharks (January to June)
  • Sandbar shark (May to August)
  • Hammerhead sharks (June to August)
  • Dusky shark (June to September)
  • Reef shark (June to September)
  • Blacktip shark (July to August)
  • Small-tooth sawfish (December to March)
  • Tiger sharks (December to July)

Is Miami Beach Well Known For Shark Attacks?

Shark attacks happen in Miami – but they are rare. Sharks often mind their own business, and they hunt fish when they are hungry. These animals tend to stay away from humans.

Although shark attacks seldom happen, Florida has the highest number of unprovoked shark attacks worldwide. 28 attacks occurred in 2021. Roughly speaking, that’s one bite every two weeks. Most of these attacks happen by mistake when someone is surfing or similar.

At the same time, most shark attacks are non-lethal: the global average of fatal shark attacks is 5 per year.

How Common Are Shark Attacks In The Miami Beach Area?

Statistically speaking, it’s extremely rare and borderline impossible to be attacked by a shark. The odds of that happening are one to close to four million. You can compare that number to the odds of being struck by lightning, which is one to less than a million.

In other words, you should be afraid of electrical storms rather than sharks swimming in Miami Beach.

It’s important to note that while shark attacks are statistically negligible, they happen more than usual near Miami. There’s a reason for that! You’ll find more sharks in Florida than anywhere else in the world, so attacks are more likely there.

Nevertheless, you’ll be safe from harm if you know what to do when you spot a shark.

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What To Do If You’re Swimming In Miami And See A Shark?

Miami Beaches are far from dangerous, even if you think about the many sharks swimming there. You can reduce the chances of a shark attack to almost zero if you swim in groups, never enter the water while bleeding, avoid intense movements while swimming, and avoid the water at night.

More importantly, keep your cool! Panicking leads to accidents, and being around sharks is no different. Remember, shark attacks are a statistical anomaly – as long as you don’t provoke these animals.

In Florida, less than a thousand unprovoked shark attacks have happened since the 1900s. In most cases, sharks will mind their own business if you do the same. You can lower your chances of a shark attack to zero if you avoid them at all costs.

How Can You Avoid Sharks When You Travel To Miami Beach?

Staying away from the water when you spot a shark is the best way to avoid these animals. At the same time, learning about their swimming patterns is key to staying away from them. Sharks prefer to swim near the coast to feed during dusk and dawn, so avoid swimming then.

If you don’t want to stop swimming but prefer to avoid sharks, you can stay away from river mouths (which is a shark’s favorite place to be), remove yourself from fish-heavy areas, and ask lifeguards if there are sharks around where you want to swim.

Exercising caution is a must to avoid sharks – but don’t let that fear prevent you from enjoying your time at the beach! Shark attacks are uncommon, so you probably have nothing to worry about if you never provoke these animals.

Conclusion

You’ll find sharks swimming in Miami Beach year-round – but this is no cause for alarm. Shark attacks seldom happen, and when they do, they are non-fatal for the most part. People afraid of sharks can stay away from them (and prevent them from approaching you) by swimming in groups and avoiding jumping in the water after dark.

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