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Great White Shark Spotted Near Sarasota Coastline

A video of a great white shark spotted off the coast of Sarasota has gone viral, garnering attention worldwide.

Great White Shark Spotted Near Sarasota Coastline

The footage was captured by Capt. R.C. Gilliland, a seasoned boater who has spent his entire life on boats.

Gilliland stated that he has seen several sharks while fishing off the coast, including hammerheads and makos. However, this was the first time he had ever encountered a great white. According to Gilliland, there was something different about the way the shark moved and its sheer size that made him realize it was a great white.

“I was in the back of the boat and ran to the front of the boat to hop on the video. I didn’t really get a good feel for it because it was coming straight at me—right toward the boat. Then it kind of turned and that’s where in the video that’s where I said, “Holy!” because you didn’t get a good feel for it until you saw the whole thing of it it stretched out along the side of the boat,” said Gilliland.

In the video, Gilliland can be seen running from the back of the boat to the front to capture the footage. As the shark approached the boat, he exclaimed, "Holy!" in awe of its size.

While Dr. Bob Hueter, Chief Scientist of Ocearch, has spent his life researching sharks, the great white shark seen in Gilliland's video was not one of the three that are currently being tracked off the coast of Florida. Dr. Hueter explained that the increasing number of great whites in the area is a good sign, indicating that conservation efforts have helped to rebuild the population.

“It’s been coming back and it’s now rebuilding through conservation efforts. There are more white sharks now off the U.S. and Canadian Atlantic, and here in the Gulf of Mexico. They stay offshore here. They’re no risk at all and are beautiful to see if you’re lucky enough to see it,” said Dr. Hueter.

Dr. Hueter also stated that great whites generally stay at least 20 miles off the coast and rarely come to the surface. They only come down during the winter months for the warmer waters and will likely be headed back up the Atlantic coast toward Canada in about a month.

Despite Gilliland's wild experiences with other types of sharks, he described this encounter with a great white as one of the coolest experiences he has ever had.

The viral video has sparked interest and curiosity among the public regarding great white sharks and their presence off the coast of Sarasota. While these sharks are often portrayed as dangerous and aggressive, Dr. Hueter emphasized that they are no risk to humans and are actually a beautiful sight to see if one is lucky enough to spot them.

Conservation efforts have been critical in rebuilding the great white shark population, which had been declining for some time. The increase in their numbers is an encouraging sign that these efforts are working and that the population is on the road to recovery.

The video of the great white shark off the Sarasota coast serves as a reminder of the importance of protecting and conserving these incredible creatures for future generations to enjoy. As more people become aware of the importance of shark conservation, we can work together to ensure their continued survival and thriving presence in our oceans.