Are There Sharks In Miami: What Types, When, And Other Facts


Miami, or the City of Miami, is a coastal metropolis and a haven for beachgoers worldwide. However, there is another reason why this beach city is so popular: sharks.

Sharks can be found in Miami’s downtown waterways. The shallow water is one of the main reasons for the presence of sharks in this area. Sharks utilize shallow waterways for breeding and feeding. And Miami’s urbanized waterways frequently serve the same purpose for these apex predators.

Are There Sharks In Miami
Image Credit: Miami Beach by FrodeCJ from Pixabay
Image Credit: A shark near the sea surface from Rawpixel

However, these urbanized waterways are not ideal habitats for sharks, even though they frequently use them. Due to pollution and increasing urbanization, shark density and diversity are low compared to what one would find in better and healthier pristine water.

This post will concentrate on sharks found in Miami. We will attempt to unearth several interesting facts that will take readers on a journey to learn about these apex predators that reside in the sunshine city of Miami.

Let’s get started! 

Are there any sharks in Miami?

As the temperature rises, locals and tourists flock to Miami’s prized beach. However, it is not surprising to come across the ocean’s apex predator: sharks.

Miami is home to sharks. South Florida beaches, in fact, have far more sharks than any other urbanized area on the planet. Miami Shark Tours are also available for tourist entertainment.

Visitors can go on Florida shark diving adventures to get close and personal with sharks. Miami houses a wide range of shark species, from hammerheads to nurse sharks.

Types of sharks in Miami?

Image Credit: Whale shark from Rawpixel

South Florida is home to over 3000 types of sharks. In fact, on the Miami beach, there are shark nets to entail restrictions on sharks from swimming nearby.

A huge variety of sharks can be found in Miami. Below is a list of shark types that one can find in Miami:

Shark typeSpecialtyThe best time for the sighting
Tiger sharkThe highlight of shark divingDecember to July
Hammerhead shark Rare species to be encountered June to August
Great Hammerhead shark January to May
Bull sharkFlorida’s most sensational sharkJanuary to June
Lemon sharkMost common shark off the coast of FloridaYear-round
Dusky sharkProtectedLate June to Early September
Blacktip sharkCommonly migrates along Florida’s coast in the winter monthsJuly and August
Sandbar sharkKnown to give close-up photo Op’s May to August
Reef sharkFrequently encountered in Florida’s coastal watersSummer Months
Nurse sharkYear-round
Whale sharkRare but make an appearance during annual migrationsYear-round
Small-tooth sawfishCritically endangeredWinter months

How common is it to encounter sharks in Miami?

Since Miami Beach is pretty famous for shark sightings, how common is it to encounter these apex predators there? 

Shark sightings are extremely uncommon on Miami Beach. Nonetheless, these apex predators have been spotted on this beach. Visitors, however, should not be concerned because the lifeguards are likely to be aware of any such situation.

Experts frequently believe that the warm and clear water keeps sharks at a safe distance. In addition, the clear water allows these apex predators to see clearly enough to determine that humans are not prey.

What type of shark is most common in Miami?

Image Credit: Blacktip shark by Wildfaces from Pixabay

On Miami Beach, sharks are more likely to be encountered. But which shark is most commonly seen in Miami?

The season for shark sightings in Miami varies. During the winter months, many blacktip sharks can be found. However, bull sharks are the most commonly encountered species across other times of the year. Hammerhead sharks and lemon sharks have also been spotted on occasion.

Does Miami have shark attacks?

Shark attacks in Florida are the highest in the world. And, because Miami is an important beach in Florida, we should explore if shark attacks also plague this beach.

Shark attacks on Miami Beach are extremely uncommon. According to the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of History, only 17 shark attacks have been documented in Miami-Dade County since 1882.

That said, since the early 1900s, there have been around 828 unprompted shark attacks in Florida. Most shark attacks were not fatal, and only 36 were lethal.

Which months in Florida have the most shark attacks?

Although not very common, Shark attacks are not unheard of in Florida or Miami Beach. That said, is there any specific month that witnesses the most attacks?

According to Natgeo, most shark attacks in Florida are witnessed in September (1920-2010). Another piece of news stated that between 1926 and 2012, the month of September saw 103 shark attacks. August has the second-highest number, with 84, followed by July with 73, and October with 72.

Does Miami have great white sharks?

Image Credit: Great white shark from Rawpixel

Great white sharks are among the most feared of all sharks. This is because they are aggressive and won’t mind attacking people just out of curiosity.

Great white sharks are extremely rare in Miami. However, these sharks are occasionally spotted in Miami waters during the winter months, particularly in December. CNN reported in this context that in 2020, a 2,000lbs great white shark stopped near Miami on its way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Bull sharks in Miami

Bull sharks are the most dangerous shark species when attacking humans. These fish love to reside in warm shallow waters across the world.

Bull sharks are one of the most commonly spotted shark species in Miami. Apart from the Atlantic ocean, bull sharks have also been found in the urbanized waterways of downtown Miami. 

The good news is that bull sharks find humans pretty unappetizing in this context. So, the chances of shark attacks are much less. 

Sharks season in Miami

Miami has a sizable shark population. So, it is a haven for shark enthusiasts. However, if you want to make the most out of shark watching, you should be aware of the shark season.

Sharks in Florida typically migrate close to shore and north in the spring and early summer and offshore and south in the autumn and winter. As a result, shark activity continues to rise from April to October, which coincides with Miami’s tourist season.

To be more specific, the best time to see blacktip sharks near Miami Beach is between mid-January and early March. This is because these sharks congregate near Miami Beach at this time of year in search of warm water and food.

Where can one see sharks in Miami?

If you are a shark enthusiast, you should know where to see these apex predators in Miami. And, of course, Miami Beach is not the most favorable place.

Quite a few places in Miami have been favorites among shark lovers. We have listed the names of those places below.

  • Miami Seaquarium
  • Double Threat Fishing Charters
  • Mark The Shark
  • Biscayne National Park Institute
  • Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
  • Quasar Expeditions
  • Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort
  • Rising Tide Charters

Summary

Hence, sharks can be found in abundance in Miami. Still, these apex predators are not dangerous to humans, as there have been very few records of shark attacks. Nonetheless, it is always suggested to be within the safe zone while swimming in the Miami waters to keep a safe distance from sharks.

Atrayee

I am Atrayee, I have extreme passion for the Animal Kingdom and I have written a large number of articles for animal behaviors. I am an Animal Lover by nature and own two Cats.
Exploring new things through learning and unlearning is something that intrigues me a lot. I spend my free time with my husband and two cats. I must say I get to learn a lot of wise things from them! You can catch me on LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/atrayee-samaddar-06886567/

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