Shark Advisory - 8/26/04

Gulf Shores/Orange Beach, AL – Today on a routine flyover of Alabama’s beach, the Marine Resources Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation observed a larger than normal number of sharks of various lengths in the waters from the Florida state line to the west end of Little Lagoon.

The sharks were approximately 100 yards offshore and the increased number is believed to be related to large numbers of baitfish in the area. “We saw approximately 24 sharks in an area where seeing five to six is usual,” said Vernon Minton, director of the Marine Resources Division. “While we believe the increased activity is related to the increased number of baitfish, and not a direct threat to folks enjoying the waters, with these kind of numbers, we think it’s prudent to exercise increased caution.” Minton added that because an increased number of sharks was observed, his agency will make flights daily, weather permitting, to review the situation until the numbers return to usual levels.

The Marine Resources Division recommends that everyone enjoying Alabama’s coastline observe the following swimming safety tips at all times.