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Sharks + Surfers + Spawning Mullet = Attacks

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Two surfers catching waves at New Smyrna Beach over the weekend are recovering from shark bites. One surfer was bitten on his side, and the other was nipped on his foot.

Both were surfing just south of Ponce Inlet where mullet are streaming out into the ocean this time of year.

Director for the Florida Program of Shark Research, George Burgess, said combine churning waters with sharks, mullet and surfers and you have a recipe for attacks.

“Particularly at this time of year we see a number of these hit and run attacks,” said Burgess. “They’re probably better referred to as bites because the injuries are usually the equivalent of a dog bite rather than what we think of from the Jaws perspective.”

Burgess said through October millions of mullet will migrate from inshore lagoons and estuaries, forming large schools along Florida’s east coast to spawn.