BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — Dozens of sharks were captured on camera at the Boynton Beach Inlet by Southern Helicopters, and a shark conservationist says seeing them this time of year is highly unusual.
Jim Abernethy says he's followed the migration of Black Tip Sharks for more than 20 years, which he believes were seen Monday in Boynton Beach.
"I can tell you it’s one of the worlds best sites to see a large aggregation of sharks in crystal clear water," he said, "The Black Tip Shark is a small shark that doesn’t grow over five feet. And they are usually accumulated in very large numbers."
Abernethy says he typically only sees the sharks in the area from November through March, when the water is more temperate. By June, he says the sharks are usually around Jacksonville.
However, he says this is a positive thing for Palm Beach County.
"We’re very fortunate to have them in Palm Beach County because what it essentially means is that our ecosystem is healthy,' Abernethy explained.
While the reason the sharks were in town is unknown, Abernethy says it's likely due to Global Warming or food.
He said, "It could have been like an injured Manta ray and they’re all following it waiting for it to die."
Abernethy also encourages swimming with the sharks, he said just make sure there isn't any fishermen with bait in the water nearby. He says sharks only bite over a case of "mistaken identity."
"You shouldn’t be alarmed at all, in fact put a mask on and enjoy them," he said.