Great white sharks heading to Florida

OCEARCH says a great white has already been spotted near Daytona Beach

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – People across the country love Florida and it turns out sharks do too.

OCEARCH recently spotted a 10-foot, 460-pound great white shark swimming along Daytona Beach.

OCEARCH Senior Advisor for Science & Academics Dr. Bob Hueter told News 6 Chief Meteorologist Tom Sorrells more are coming.

“It’s kind of like winter snowbirds, the sharks start heading south in the fall as the temperatures drop up north. We have probably about a dozen species that are on the move right now. The one that is the most prominent is the one we work on on OCEARCH the white shark otherwise known as the great white shark,” he said.

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Hueter said the migration started about mid-October and it runs through November into early December.

“By early December, they are typically off the southeast coast, off the Florida East Coast, and then a great number of them go all the way around the Keys and into the Gulf of Mexico, the eastern Gulf of Mexico primarily,” Hueter said.

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He said the sharks stay anywhere from one to 100 miles offshore. During this migratory period, OCEARCH will be studying the sharks.

Their research expedition takes off from Jacksonville on Nov. 27.

A team of scientists bring great white sharks onboard and tag them so they can track their activity.

So far, they have already tagged 92.

The team also collects samples and data such as genetics, diet and potential contributions to the pharmaceutical industry.

“We even have a project by a microbiologist who is taking bacterial samples from these sharks and she has discovered these bacteria produce antibiotics that are effective against some of the pathogens that have become resistant to our normal antibiotics in human medicine, including MRSA. So, there is a possibility here that it may lead to a drug for people that will allow us to treat human disease,” Hueter said.

Learn more about the sharks traveling along Florida’s coast and the research being done on them as they migrate by checking out Talk to Tom. You can download the podcast from wherever you listen to podcasts or watch it anytime on News 6+.

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About the Authors:

Tiffany produces the News 6+ Takeover at 3:30 p.m., Florida's Fourth Estate and Talk to Tom.

Tom Sorrells is News 6's Emmy award winning chief meteorologist. He pinpoints storms across Central Florida to keep residents safe from dangerous weather conditions.