With hardly anyone at the beach because of restrictions placed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, a shark was seen swimming in the waters off Tumon.
The shark seen in videos circulating around social media has been identified as a nurse shark.
Brent Tibbatts, a biologist from the Guam Department of Agriculture, says that nurse sharks, which can grow up to 6 to 7 feet long, are harmless and eat crustaceans and mollusks such as crabs and clams.
“I really wanna emphasize that they’re not dangerous. I know some people are going out swimming and they shouldn’t worry about it at all. It’s not going to come after anybody and if you have the chance to see it, enjoy it. They’re not commonly seen because they’re kinda shy,” Tibbatts said.
Typically, Tibbats says that nurse sharks can be found over the edge of the reef in Tumon and that this shark may have decided to swim along the reef flat due to the lack of human activity.
The Guam Department of Agriculture is currently not able to conduct any fieldwork, but once they are able to the agency plans to collect data over the next several months to chart changes in wildlife as human activity reaches normal levels.