Five great white sharks, one almost 5 metres long, have been spotted lurking in the waters near beaches in New York and New Jersey, the New York Post reported citing Ocearch, a website that tracks the movement of sharks. All of the apex predators have been given names and are being monitored via electronic tags attached to them.
Caroline, 2.4 metres, was spotted between Seaside Heights and Barnegat Light in New Jersey on 1 July, while Cabot, 2.7 metres and Caper 2.4 metres were seen last month in the Hamptons in New York. Ocearch also spotted a newcomer Vimy, who is almost 4 metres long and was spotted in southern New Jersey on 10 July. The cherry on top is Mary Lee at 4.8 metres long.
Despite the seemingly menacing news, the presence of great white sharks is a good thing and a sign that the water is healthy, Paul Sieswerda, head of Gotham Whale, a research and advocacy organisation told the New York Post. Sieswerda says clean water attract sharks’ prey and consequently the predators themselves.
Chris Fischer, founder of Ocearch, said sharks prey on the weak thus keeping marine stocks strong and ensuring that "everyone will see an ocean full of fish for generations, and our great-grandkids will be able to enjoy fish sandwiches and lobster rolls deep into the future".
Fischer warns, however, that people should not swim in the ocean where they see seals, bait fish crashing, or birds diving, otherwise they may end up in a shark's clutches.
The development follows a 26-year-old man dying after reportedly being attacked by a great white shark while surfing with friends in Santa Cruz, California.