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Sharks spotted near the shore at Miami Beach

The shiver of sharks swam close to the shoreline on the first day Miami-Dade beaches reopened.
Credit: Corrine Lough

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — Miami-Dade County beachgoers expected to see social distancing enforcement when the beaches reopened Wednesday. But--one thing they weren't prepared to see was sharks swimming near the shore.

The shiver of sharks was spotted about 20 feet from the shores of South Beach Wednesday afternoon. CBS Miami reports there were beach umbrellas nearby, but no one was in the water in the area where the sharks were swimming.

Why do sharks swim near the shore?

Scientists say there's a couple of reasons sharks could move in toward the shoreline. One is the temperature of the water. Researchers say sharks prefer warmer waters, so they'll gravitate toward the shore if the temperatures are higher there.

Sharks, like most animals, also tend to follow the food. If there are baitfish swimming close to the shore, the sharks will come in and feed on them.

How can you avoid sharks?

Not all sharks are a threat to humans. But, it's always best to err on the safe side.

The Florida Museum at the University of Florida offers a list of tips to reduce your chances of interacting with a shark.

First, you should stay in groups because sharks are more likely to attack a single person.

Don't wander out too far from shore, not only because sharks are more likely to be that far out in the water, but it could take too long to send help to you if you're attacked.

Only go in during daylight hours. Sharks are more active in darkness and twilight.

Stay out of the water if you have any open wounds. Sharks are known to detect even trace amounts of blood from long distances.

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