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Shark Safety
Reducing the Risk of a Shark Encounter

The relative risk of a shark attack is very small but, risks should always be minimized whenever possible in any activity.

The chances of having an interaction with a shark can be reduced if one heeds the following advice: 

  • Always stay in groups since sharks are more likely to attack a solitary individual. 
  • Do not wander too far from shore---this isolates an individual and additionally places one far away from assistance. 
  • Avoid being in the water during darkness or twilight hours when sharks are most active and have competitive sensory advantage. 
  • Wearing shiny jewelry is discouraged because the reflected light resembles the sheen of fish scales. 
  • Avoid waters being used by sport or commercial fisherman, especially if there are signs of bait fishes or feeding activity. Diving seabirds are good indicators of such action. 
  • Sightings of porpoises do not indicate the absence of sharks---both often eat the same food items. 
  • Use extra caution when waters are murky and avoid uneven tanning and bright colored clothing---sharks see contrast particularly well. 
  • Refrain from excess splashing and do not allow pets in the water because of their erratic movements. 
  • Exercise caution when occupying the area between sandbars or near steep drop-offs---these are favorite hangouts for sharks. 
  • Do not enter the water if sharks are known to be present and evacuate the water if sharks are seen while there. And, of course, do not harass a shark if you see one.

* Source: International Shark Attack File, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of FL