JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – “Jaws” made everyone think twice about going swimming in the ocean, but in reality, only a handful of the more than 300 species of shark in the world are considered dangerous to humans.
These predators aren’t nearly as terrifying once you get to know them and that’s exactly what one group of locally based researchers is doing.
OCEARCH tags and studies sharks around the world.
They’re able to collect previously unattainable data on the sharks’ movements and behaviors.
The group has a home base in Mayport and a partnership with Jacksonville University.
You don’t need high-tech equipment to learn more about sharks. OCEARCH puts it all right at your fingertips.
OCEARCH’s shark tracker has data on dozens of sharks from Australia to Mayport. Some feed back information constantly, and others will only show you their last known location.
Zooming in off the First Coast, you can see a couple of Great White Sharks have been here recently.
One named Sydney pinged as recently as May.
When you click on an individual shark, you can see their migration. Sydney, for example, made it all the way up to Newfoundland.
Closing out that track, you can also see several tagged tiger sharks were off our coast. The tiger sharks cover smaller areas.
OCEARCH’s programs aren’t limited to sharks.
The group also tags and tracks dolphins, whales, seals, turtles and a Florida favorite -- alligators.