Warm waters forcing blacktip sharks to spend summer off Long Island coast

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Thousands of blacktip sharks are being seen off the coast of Long Island for the first time.

Experts like Dr. Stephen Kajiura of Florida Atlantic University say the particular species of shark usually spend their winters in South Florida. They then move to the Carolinas in the spring, when the females give birth.

Marine scientists say they are traveling further up the coastline due to warming seas.

"What we are finding though is that these blacktips are going further north than that and we are finding them off the coast of Long Island in the summertime," Kajiura says. "This is really unusual."

Chris Stefanou, an expert at catching sharks, says he found one just last week on Long Island.

"This is the first time I have caught a blacktip shark," he said. "Normally they hang out in Florida and that area."

Experts say that blacktip sharks, which grow to be about 6 feet, swim in shallow water looking for food so swimmers and surfers should beware. They say the sharks may bite humans if they mistake their hands or feet for small fish.

Marine scientists say it's possible the blacktip sharks will be back next summer and may attract its predator, the hammerhead shark.

 

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