Shark out of the water up on the beach
This unfortunate shark swam a little to chose to the shore in the shallow water and was found stuck on the beach during low tide


There’s something in the water. Sharks are one of the most vilified animals on the planet, but in reality, they are very important to our ecosystem and deserve more appreciation! Sharks are an apex predator, which means they are at the top of the food chain. Apex predators exert top down control over the ecosystem and maintain the populations of all other species. Without apex predators, ecosystems can be thrown out of balance through an escalated growth in prey populations and increased disease spread.

Sharks occupy all the oceans in the world, including the Atlantic Ocean bordering Fort Matanzas National Monument. Shark species common to this area include Atlantic Sharpnose, Blacktip, Spinner, Finetooth, Blacknose, and Bonnethead. Other species like Scalloped Hammerhead and Mako have also been documented farther off the coast of St. Augustine.

Don’t be too scared though, only about five deaths are caused by sharks across the entire world each year. Sharks are more interested in fish than they are in you! Still nervous? There are easy ways to protect yourself from a shark attack when visiting the beach:

· Swim with friends

· Do NOT swim in the dark

· Avoid swimming with any shiny jewelry

· Follow the signs – leave the water if a shark has been spotted

You are entering the shark’s home whenever you swim in the ocean. Just as you should do whenever you enter another person’s house, we ask that you please respect the ocean and the beach! Please do not litter or dump any food or liquids into the water. If you are fishing, please follow sustainable fishing guidelines to protect vulnerable species living in our waters. Discard fishing line in the white PVC tubes along the boardwalks and by the visitor center – do NOT cut your line. Many animals use our waters, including humans, and it is everyone’s responsibility to keep our environment clean!

Last updated: July 23, 2021

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Saint Augustine, FL 32080


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