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Clearwater Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches that Florida has to offer.
It’s incredibly popular and attracts millions of people each year.
But does Clearwater Beach have sharks? This is a pretty common question people have before visiting the beach.
And it’s a perfectly valid question too.
Luckily for you, I’ve spent many a day on Clearwater Beach and I’m here to provide an answer to this common query.
So let’s dive right in! No pun intended…
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Are there sharks in Clearwater Beach?
To answer this question in one sentence: Yes, there are sharks at Clearwater Beach.
Like at most of Florida’s beaches, the sea is home to quite a few shark species.
They’re relatively uncommon to see as they usually avoid coming into shallow water and tend to avoid humans too. As is the case with most animals, they’re as scared of you as you are of them.
As Clearwater Beach lies on the Gulf of Mexico on one side, and Tampa Bay on the other, the shark population is pretty high. Tampa Bay is one of the most shark-dense areas in the world.
Don’t worry though, shark attacks are rare, and unless you go looking for them, you’re unlikely to see a shark during your time at Clearwater Beach.
There are alligators in Tampa too, but like the sharks, they are unlikely to bother you unless you bother them.
But to answer the question, yes, there are sharks in Clearwater Beach.
What types of sharks are in Clearwater Beach?
The marine life at Clearwater Beach is exceptional, it’s so diverse and exploring the underwater world here is incredible. One of my favourite things to do is to take a Tampa dolphin tour, it creates lifelong memories.
This means that there are quite a few different species of sharks which are found in the ocean near Clearwater Beach.
The most common type of shark is the Blacktip shark. If you are going to see a shark, it’s probably going to be this one, as sometimes the pups (baby sharks) like to go in shallow waters. But as I said, it’s pretty uncommon. And even if you do, they are super shy and scared of humans.
There are also Hammerhead Sharks, Nurse Sharks, Lemon Sharks, and pretty much any sharks found in the Gulf of Mexico. And there are around 24 species known to be found in the Gulf.
It’s amazing that so many sharks are found in such a small part of the world. And as I said, you have nothing to worry about, they won’t impact your beach life whatsoever.
Are the sharks in Clearwater Beach dangerous?
Sharks at Clearwater Beach tend to avoid humans pretty much at all costs, so I would consider them not dangerous.
Millions of people swim at the beach each year, and there have been no shark attacks for quite a while. A good few years, in fact.
So the chances are that you won’t have an issue with sharks at Clearwater.
Sharks can be dangerous, sure, but so can any wild animal. But if you do come across a shark, as long as you don’t intimidate it, it likely won’t attack you.
Even if they do, blacktip sharks, the most common shark species which I mentioned, aren’t known for fatal attacks. They tend to bite and release, like a dog.
Shark attacks in Clearwater Beach
Shark attacks in Clearwater Beach are very rare. They are so rare that on the odd occasion, they do happen, they make the news. And as I said before, they aren’t fatal attacks.
Florida is home to the most shark attacks in the world but very very very few are at Clearwater.
In terms of statistics, there have been 14 unprovoked shark attacks in Pinellas County since 1882. This is the Florida county that Clearwater Beach is in. 14 attacks in the whole county – not just Clearwater Beach – in over 150 years. That’s less than once a decade.
If that’s not reassurance, I don’t know what is. There are sharks at Clearwater Beach, but they aren’t going to do you any harm.
Can you swim in Clearwater Beach?
Yes, you can swim at Clearwater Beach. It’s one of the nicest beaches I have ever been to, and even though this photo doesn’t look like it, the photo is so blue and the sand is so golden.
You can swim at the beach with peace of mind about sharks. Sure, they are in the water. But they aren’t going to do you any harm. You would have to be very very very unlucky to get bitten by a shark at Clearwater.
If you do the maths, 6.5 million people visit Clearwater each year. There is a shark attack at the beach once every (on average) 10.7 years. That means one person out of 69.55 million people who visit Clearwater Beach gets bitten by a shark.
For reference, that’s 3 times the population of Florida.
So yes, you can swim at Clearwater Beach, and it’s safe to do so.
Clearwater Beach Sharks Tips
If you are still cautious about swimming at Clearwater Beach due to the sharks in the water, I would urge you to re-read this post and see how low the chances of you even seeing a shark are. But if you would like some tips to help keep yourself extra safe from sharks, here are 5 top tips:
✅ Know the flags: Florida beaches, including Clearwater, have a flag system to show the current situation on the beach. In short, green is safe. Yellow is moderate. Anything other than these two, you shouldn’t go in the water. Especially blue which means a shark or other dangerous animal has been spotted.
✅ Stay close to the shore: Pretty much all of the sharks at Clearwater Beach avoid coming close to the shore, so if you don’t venture out too far, you most likely won’t see a shark.
✅ Don’t go into the water if you’re bleeding: Sounds obvious, but sharks are attracted to blood, so don’t go into the water if you are bleeding. Aside from the sharks, it would probably hurt like hell because of the salt water.
✅ Swim in the morning or at night: Most shark attacks in Florida, not at Clearwater for clarity, happen in the early hours of the afternoon. Avoid swimming in these hours and your chances of an attack decrease.
✅ Don’t wear any jewellery: Sharks would be attracted to shiny things, thinking they’re fish scales, so make sure you don’t wear anything that might catch a shark’s eye.
There are lots more tips for avoiding a shark attack, but the chances are so low at Clearwater that you don’t really need to take many precautions.
Clearwater Beach Sharks: FAQ
Below are some questions related to sharks at Clearwater Beach.
There are sharks in the waters surrounding Clearwater Beach, but attacks are extremely rare. Only 14 unprovoked attacks have been recorded in Pinellas County since records began in 1882. So it would be fair to say that although sharks are present, the beach is safe from attacks.
There are lots of different shark species in the waters around the beach, so yes, it is possible to find shark teeth on Clearwater Beach.
Unlike in other parts of the world, there aren’t any opportunities to dive with sharks at Clearwater Beach. Sharks are present but are rare to spot, and it’s not recommended to swim with them unless you are a professional.
Yes, there are lots of sharks in the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay off Clearwater Beach. It’s very rare that they are spotted near the shore though, and the beach is safe for swimming too.
Clearwater Beach Sharks: Conclusion
And there you have it, a complete guide to Clearwater Beach sharks.
Remember, there are sharks off the coast at Clearwater.
But they won’t do you any harm. You most likely won’t even see one, and the chances of an attack are so so so so slim.
So enjoy your time at Clearwater Beach, it’s incredible. And you can enjoy your time without having to worry about sharks. 🙂