If you are planning your visit to Clearwater Beach and want to know more about the sharks that can be found in the waters surrounding Clearwater Beach then you have come to the right place.
Clearwater Beach is a very popular beach destination in Florida, but at the same time, it is closer to Tampa Bay which is considered the “Nursery of the shark pups”. So, if you are visiting Clearwater Beach, it is important to know more about the various shark species that are lurking in the waters of Clearwater Beach.
In this article, we have covered everything about the sharks in Clearwater Beach to make your vacation to this lovely beach destination a safe and unforgettable experience.
Are There Sharks in Clearwater? Everything You Need To Know!
Are There Sharks in Clearwater Beach?
YES, like many other destinations in Florida, there are sharks in the waters around Clearwater. However, they usually stay far away from the shoreline and don’t come in contact with humans. That’s why shark attacks are extremely rare in Clearwater Beach.
Clearwater Beach is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico from the west side. And, it is no secret that the Gulf of Mexico is home to a number of shark species. In fact, it is considered that there are at least 30 species of sharks in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
On the other hand, Clearwater Beach is surrounded by Tampa Bay on the east side, and it is considered one of the most shark-dense areas in the world. Tampa Bay is also known as the nursery of shark pups as different species of sharks come here to give birth to their pups.
In other words, like many other destinations in Florida, sharks exist surrounding the waters of Clearwater Beach. However, the most important question is are these sharks dangerous to humans? Do they attack humans? Let me answer this question in detail in the next paragraph.
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Clearwater Beach Shark Attack Statistics
Even though several species of sharks exist surrounding the waters of Clearwater Beach, shark attacks are extremely rare. Let’s understand this topic more precisely with the help of data given by the international shark attack files (ISAF).
Clearwater is located in Pinellas county and according to the International shark attack files (ISAF), there have been only 14 confirmed unprovoked shark attacks in Pinellas county since 1882.
Confirmed Unprovoked Shark Attacks in Florida Since 1882 as per ISAF
|County||Total Shark Bites|
In other words, only 14 shark attacks have been reported in Pinellas county (the place where Clearwater Beach is located) in the last 140 years.
And, considering the 6.5 million tourists that visit Clearwater Beach every year on average, 14 is an extremely small number. In other words, there are more chances that you will be hit by lightning in Clearwater than attacked by sharks.
Shark Attacks in Clearwater in 2023
In 2022, 16 shark incidents were reported in Florida, with 7 of them being from Volusia county alone. Fortunately, no shark attack incident was reported in Clearwater Beach in 2022.
In fact, no shark attack incidents have been reported in Clearwater in the past few years.
So, can you swim in Clearwater Beach?
Absolutely, Clearwater is safe to swim as long as you are taking basic safety precautions. As I explained earlier, even though sharks exist surrounding the waters surrounding in Clearwater Beach, shark attacks are almost non-existent.
With its year-round fantastic weather and crystal clear water, it offers perfect conditions for beachgoers. Apart from that with its number of beachside amenities, family-friendly activities, and presence of lifeguards, it is a great destination for families, too.
🏖 Relevant reading: 10 Most Dangerous Beaches in Florida in 2023
What type of sharks are there in Clearwater?
A number of shark species can be found in the warm waters surrounding Clearwater Beach. Fortunately, most of these shark species are not aggressive toward humans.
Here are some of the most common shark species found in/around Clearwater Beach:
Blacktip Sharks: It is no wonder that Blacktip sharks are common in Clearwater. In fact, they are present almost everywhere in Florida. Blacktip sharks are medium-sized sharks that can grow up to 5 to 6 feet.
Bull Sharks: If there is any shark you should be concerned about is the Bull shark. Bull sharks are considered extremely aggressive sharks. They grow up to 6 to 10 feet in length and can attack humans if they feel threatened.
Bonnethead Sharks: After Blacktip sharks, Bonnethead sharks are quite common species in Clearwater. They are relatively small sharks and are considered harmless to humans.
Lemon sharks: Like Blacktip sharks, Lemon sharks are also quite common shark species that can be found almost everywhere in Florida. They grow up to 5 to 7 feet in length and can be aggressive if they feel threatened.
Tiger sharks: Like Bull Sharks, Tiger sharks are another shark species in Clearwater that is known for its aggressive behavior towards humans. Tiger sharks are relatively more giant sharks and are considered dangerous for humans.
Safety Tips To Avoid Shark’s unwanted Attention
There is no doubt that shark attacks are almost non-existent in Clearwater. In fact, millions of tourists visited Clearwater Beach in 2022 with no major shark incident being reported throughout the year.
However, you must keep in mind that sharks are occasionally spotted near Clearwater Beach. So, it is important to take basic safety precautions to avoid sharks’ unwanted attention.
Sharks usually try to stay away from humans and they attack humans only when they confuse humans with their prey or feel threatened by them. In other words, if you take some basic safety precautions can keep sharks at bay.
Here are a few safety tips for you to prevent shark attacks:
- Clearwater is usually known for its crystal clear water. However, there are some places where murky water exists in Clearwater Beach. Try to avoid swimming in such places as they are natural hunting grounds for sharks.
- Avoid wearing shiny things like jewelry while swimming or surfing as it might attract sharks’ unwanted attention.
- Avoid swimming alone far away from the coastline. Try to swim close to the lifeguards and other people.
- Avoid swimming in areas where the river meets the ocean. Such places are ideal hunting grounds for sharks.
- Don’t swim near fishermen as their bait can get the attention of the sharks.
- Do not swim in low light or at night. Some sharks are more active at night or in low light.
- It is advisable to stay away from water if you are bleeding. The smell of human blood can attract sharks’ attention.
- Always swim near lifeguards and take advice from them before entering the water.