Four Great White Sharks Are Living In The Waters Off New York And New Jersey
If you live along the coast of New York and New Jersey you might want to exercise a bit of caution next time you head to the beach.
While social distancing is still highly advised of course, you’ll probably want to socially distance yourself from the apparently shark-infested waters surrounding the beaches, too.
According to an online shark tracker, at least four great white sharks are known to be lurking in the area, with another suspected to be hanging around her old chomping grounds on the Jersey shore.
According to the Ocearch online tracker, one of the most recent sightings includes Caroline, who measures 12 feet nine inches long and weighs 1,348 pounds. Caroline was located between Seaside Heights and Barnegat Light, New Jersey, on July 1.
Spotted even more recently than Caroline however, were Caper, at eight feet long and weighing 348 pounds, and Cabot, at nine feet long and weighing 533 pounds, whose electronic tags signalled their whereabouts on June 8 and June 4 respectively, just off the Hamptons.
There was also a new addition to the neighbourhood with 1,164-pound Vimy, measuring nearly 13 feet long, who was tracked on July 10 in the deep ocean off Delaware and southern New Jersey, although it is possible he was just checking in before heading off towards Canada.
Another of the predators, the 16 feet and 3,456 pounds Mary Lee, could also still be swimming in the area. However, her satellite tracker stopped working in 2017 when its five-year battery ran out, so this can’t be confirmed.
Although great whites are the largest predatory fish on Earth, growing to an average of 15 feet in length and having up to 300 serrated teeth, research suggests they don’t usually prey on humans.
Researchers therefore believe the risk to human life is minimal, which is comforting news for the residents of New York and New Jersey. ‘The drive to the beach is much riskier than swimming with sharks in the water,’ Paul Sieswerda, head of Gotham Whale, a NYC research and advocacy organisation , told the New York Post.
In fact, Sieswerda said the appearance of the sharks is actually a good thing as it’s a sign of healthy local waters, adding that since 2010, cleaner water has led to an abundance of bait that attracts the predators.
He also said the area can expect even more great whites in the area in coming years, particularly if seals take up year-round residence there, like they have in Cape Cod.
Chris Fischer, founder of the Ocearch shark tracker, also expects ‘a steady slow increase in shark numbers’, saying that the five great whites are ‘no more than normal’ and they are following typical migration patterns.
However, he did warn beach-goers to ‘be smart’, urging people not to swim out into the ocean if they see seals, baitfish crashing and birds diving.
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CreditsOcearch and 1 other
New York Post