Sharks addicted to cocaine have been discovered in Florida. Scientists have detected abnormal behavior and erratic reactions in the species present in the Florida Keys. According to the researchers, the sharks present in the waters of the Keys are devouring the bales of cocaine that drug traffickers throw into the sea to evade controls.
Marine biologist Tom Hird, together with environmental scientist Tracy Fanara, of the University of Florida evaluated the behaviors of sharks and their reaction to bales of cocaine falling into the sea. In tests later shown on the Discovery Channel in the documentary Cocaine Sharks, when the packages were placed next to fake swans, the two researchers observed that the sharks headed straight for the bales, biting them, and in some cases, grabbing one and swimming away with it.
Sharks addicted to cocaine have been discovered in Florida
The team documented the strange attitude of a hammerhead shark, a species that normally distrusts humans and instead aimed straight at the crew. Even a gray shark seemed to have a peculiar behavior.
Even the thousands of sharks off the coast of Florida, already threatened by climate change and by capture, could therefore be exposed to drugs to an equal if not greater extent than other species, for which the impact of the accumulation of these substances has been well documented in freshwater streams and reservoirs in several regions.
The sharks, in general, seemed to be attracted to the packs, swimming directly at them to take a bite. The matter is not as simple as it might seem.
The two scientists continued their experiments, filling bait balls with concentrated fish powder, the closest and safest alternative to cocaine they could think of, with the result that the sharks seemed to go crazy and start behaving irrationally, giving the impression of being fixated on something and swimming in tight circles, although there was nothing in sight.
Over the past month, the US Coast Guard has seized up to 6,400 kilograms of cocaine in the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, valued at an estimated $186 million.