CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – No, Jaws is not lingering offshore.
Viral videos and photos of several reported “shark sightings” on Pinellas County beaches are a hoax, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife officials.
Several viewers sent videos to WFLA over the past few months showing what appeared to be a large shark fin popping out of the water near beaches in the Tampa Bay area.
FWC says they reviewed the videos and determined it is a hoax.
“That is a huge dorsal fin and in such shallow water, you would expect to be able to see a portion of the shark’s back and/or the second dorsal or tip of the caudal fin,” FWC Marine Fisheries Biologist Brent Winner explained. “None of those are visible.”
Winner pointed out parts in a video that seemed suspicious.
“Even more suspect are the ‘bubbles’ that come up a few feet behind the fin,” Winner added. “These look like an exhale from a SCUBA diver in shallow water. Not a swirl or anything that was caused by a shark’s movement.”