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Shark migration shuts down Florida beaches

Thousands of migrating sharks caused beach closures in southern Florida on Thursday, leaving March break tourists and residents unable to swim in the ocean.

Beaches closed for swimming as thousands of sharks invade coastal waters

Beaches in Florida have been closed for swimming after the waters were invaded by thousands of migrating sharks 2:31

Thousands of migrating sharks caused beach closures in southern Florida on Thursday, leaving March break tourists and residents unable to swim in the ocean.

Researchers at the Florida Atlantic University said that they have counted more than 15,000 sharks moving up the coast of Palm Beach, Fla.

The majority of the sharks migrating metres from the shore are blacktip and spinner sharks. According to the University of Florida, blacktip sharks are responsible for a large number of attacks on humans in the state and can grow up to 2.5 metres.

Spinner sharks get their name from their rotating leaps out of the water where they appear to spin. They can grow up to three metres long.

Researchers had said that the migration from Florida to North Carolina is starting much later than in previous years and the sharks are expected to take up to a few weeks to pass on their way to the coast of North Carolina.

"Sharks are not to be reckoned with," said Palm Beach resident Elizabeth Horowitz.

A total of 663 shark attacks have been recorded in Florida in the last 110 years — according to the International Shark Attack File, a global database of shark attacks — however, there have only been 11 deaths reported with the last fatality occurring in 2010.

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