Treasure Coast Videographer Captures Footage Of Florida Shark Migration Near Fort Pierce Inlet

by Lyssa Goldberg Feb 16, 2017 04:59 PM

Hundreds of sharks were recently spotted off the coast of Fort Pierce, as seen in new footage captured by a local drone videographer.

The aerial video—filmed from Fort Pierce Inlet to Vero Beach between Feb. 5 and Feb. 10—shows up to an estimated 500 blacktip sharks, which are known to migrate south to waters off local shores this time of year.

Footage of thousands of migrating sharks off the coast of Palm Beach went viral last winter after a Florida Atlantic University shark researcher shared video of the annual phenomenon on social media. 

The researcher, Stephen Kajiura, conducts aerial surveys to monitor the blacktip sharks' winter migration. He recently noted warmer water temperatures than average have led to much smaller aggregations of sharks so far this season.

Jason Griffeth, 39, who lives and works in Vero Beach, was capturing footage for his water-related video production company Hydrophilik when he discovered the sharks off the Treasure Coast.

"I actually originally set out to film boats going in and out of the inlet, and then noticed some surfers near the inlet," he said. "I decided to go check the surfers out and then noticed some big fish swimming very close to them. I lowered the drone to take a closer look and discovered that they were sharks."

What impressed Griffeth most was how close the sharks were to the surfers and how many of them there were.

"I talked to some of the surfers afterwards, and they were not aware of the sharks, which was very surprising given their close proximity," he said, noting the sharks never showed aggression toward the humans. 

While filming, Griffeth also spotted manatees, tarpon, and what he says are even larger sharks swimming below the blacktips.

"We kind of felt like we were in a National Geographic show or something at that point. …  It was very cool to see all of these different marine animals within a very close distance to each other," he said.

Watch the video below:


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