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Inter Miami to begin new season, Wildlife Thursday: Sharks, Chewy Suz Sweet Treats

A new University of Miami study found that tiger sharks on Little Bahama Bank defied Hurricane Mathew's powerful winds and stayed put as the storm passed. Previous studies have found many sharks flee.
Neil Hammerschlag
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
A new University of Miami study found that tiger sharks on Little Bahama Bank defied Hurricane Mathew's powerful winds and stayed put as the storm passed. Previous studies have found many sharks flee.

On this Thursday, February 24, edition of Sundial:

Inter Miami to begin new season

Soccer fans have something to get excited about. The 2022 Major League Soccer season kicks off this Saturday.

WLRN is here for you, even when life is unpredictable. Our journalists are continuing to work hard to keep you informed across South Florida. Please support this vital work. Become a WLRN member today. Thank you.

South Florida's MLS team, Inter Miami, starts its season off by playing against the Chicago Fire at its current home stadium in Fort Lauderdale.

Inter Miami Defender Aimé Mabika joined Thursday's program to preview what's ahead for the new season of soccer in South Florida.

Mabika was drafted by Inter Miami last year from the University of Kentucky. He then spent most of 2021 playing on Inter Miami's lower division team, called Fort Lauderdale CF, before joining the team. On the program, he also talked with host Luis Hernandez how playing on a team has helped him look at other areas of life:

"There's going to be ups and downs and in this game that we play, to where, you know, you might have a bad day on the field, you might have a bad game – a few bad games – but at the end of the day, you know, no one waits for you. It keeps going, right?" Mabika said. "If you have a bad day on Saturday, you know the next game is going to be here in seven days, so you can't really dwell on it too much. So I think that applies to life. You know, for myself, being a young man, you know, I'm going to have things that maybe don't go my way, away from the field as well to where I just will have to be prepared for that and just be ready to move on, and put one foot in front of the other."

Inter Miami to begin new season

Wildlife Thursday: Sharks

What do you think about when you hear the word “shark”?

Maybe it’s the "Jaws" theme song or their hundreds of sharp teeth. Some say that’s not fair to sharks and that these stereotypes have hurt their reputation.

Sharks are also elegant, beautiful, and vital to the ecosystem.

“Fortunately for us, humans are not on the menu. You know, I think most shark bites are probably just accidents or being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and it's just so extremely rare,” said Neil Hammerschlag, a Research Associate Professor and Director, Shark Research and Conservation Program at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

“I think of, [in] Africa if anyone you know went into the Serengeti and decided to just go running around blindfolded — because essentially that's what we are when we're in the ocean. And if someone got bitten by a lion … no one would say, ‘Oh my goodness, it's the lion's fault.’ They would say it's the person's fault. And so I'm just hoping that when humans are in the water and we are bit … people don't essentially blame the shark for it because we're in their [the shark’s] home.”

Erin Spencer, a marine ecologist and Florida International University Ph.D. candidate, wrote a children’s book about that home. It’s titled “The Word of Coral Reefs” and it’s set to be released March 29.

“[Coral reefs] only make up one percent of the ocean floor but account for 25 percent of the diversity that we find in the ocean. And so a healthy coral reef also has healthy shark populations and vice versa,” said Spencer, who is studying critically endangered great hammerhead sharks.

Wildlife Thursday: Sharks
The recent spate of attacks — seven since June in North Carolina alone — has little to do with the shark population off American coastlines. Shark attack, George Burgess says, "is driven by the number of humans in the water more than the number of sharks."

Chewy Suz Sweet Treats

The South Beach Wine and Food Festival started Thursday.

This year the lineup of chefs and foodies is a little different than before. After facing criticism over their lack of diversity, the festival has made efforts to include more local Black talent.

Sundial was joined by Deborah Williams, the owner of Chewy Suz Sweet Treats. She is one of the chefs presenting at the festival this year.

We also spoke with Larry Carrino, who is part of the publicity team for the food festival, about the changes for more diversity and inclusion. Listen to that conversation here.

Find more details on the South Beach Wine and Food Festival here.

Chewy Suz Sweet Treats

Caitie Muñoz, formerly Switalski, leads the WLRN Newsroom as Director of Daily News & Original Live Programming. Previously she reported on news and stories concerning quality of life in Broward County and its municipalities for WLRN News.
Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the former lead producer behind Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also worked on visual and digital storytelling.