Need a Bigger Boat

We learned more from our interview with FAU’s Dr. Stephen Kajiura than we could fit into the January issue of Boca magazine, so we’re sharing a few more facts about blacktip shark migration and more aerial photos of the sharks taken by Dr. Kajiura.

All of the blacktips off our coast are males:

“No juveniles, no really big ones, they’re all adults and they’re all males. 100% males. This raises another question that we’re interested in: ‘where are the females?’”

It’s mostly blacktips, but not 100% 

“When we’re fishing, it’s 98% blacktip sharks, with the occasion lemon, hammerhead (hammerheads are feeding on the blacktips) and the occasional nurse, but it’s almost all blacktip sharks.”

It’s a common misconception that the sharks migrate down to our waters because of an abundance of baitfish

“They’re offset by several months. Baitfish peak around [september], around October, but the sharks don’t get here until January. There’s a three or four month lag time between when the baitfish peak in abundance and the sharks peak in abundance.”

While nothing compares to an aerial view to see the masses of sharks, it is possible to see them from the shore

“You can see the sharks from land if you’re on a walkway or something elevated, if you can look down and get a bit of an angle on it then you can see the aggregations of sharks. It’s better from the aerial perspective.”

All photos provided by Dr. Stephen Kajiura and Florida Atlantic University

This story was inspired by our January 2020 issue of Boca magazine. For more content like this, subscribe to the magazine.