Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Shark Summer 2012

Now that summer has officially come to New Jersey, thousands of people will be flocking to the beaches and entering the Ocean. Whenever a shark is seen in New Jersey it sets off a panic. Shark sightings are so rare, but at the same time, sharks are always around New Jersey during the summertime. In fact you can find some of the most famous sharks in the world just off the coast of New Jersey. Let's take a quick run through of these sharks...

                                                                          Dogfish

                                                                        Sand Tiger Shark

Sandbar Shark

Scalloped Hammerhead Shark

Shortfin Mako Shark

Whale Shark

Okay so these are just a few of the sharks that you can find off the coast of New Jersey during the summer months. With the exception of the dogfish, every one of these sharks is threatened with extinction. Some of these sharks are more common in our waters than others. The sand tiger shark is the most common large species of shark in New Jersey, more so off the coast of Atlantic City than other areas. Whale sharks are very rare, but they do venture into New Jersey waters from time to time. Sandbar sharks tend to stick to more shallow waters and are often the species of shark that are seen very close to shore.Shortfin mako sharks, the fastest shark in the world, usually stays in deeper waters, but is a very popular game fish despite their plummeting populations. We also get the famous scalloped hammerhead here in New Jersey. These sharks do come close to shore, but for the most part they swim in deeper waters. Along with these sharks we get a wide variety of other sharks including bull sharks, tiger sharks, nurse sharks, blue sharks, porbeagles, basking sharks, and perhaps the most popular shark of all time...



Great White Shark

Yes, we get the mighty great white shark every year here in New Jersey. These animals generally stay offshore and are rarely seen, but they are here none the less. They pass right by New Jersey on their migration route North from Florida. There are currently 3 confirmed attacks in New Jersey by a great white. Out of those 2 of them were fatal, the latest being in 1916. Of course, when people hear the name great white shark, the first thing that comes to mind is one word... Jaws. These animals are not some monster from a movie that is out to eat anyone who enters the water. It's disgusting how the media has turned these creatures into monsters. The scary thing is that all of the media attention to these sharks have led to so many sharks being killed that great white sharks are now considered to be more endangered than tigers. Great white sharks have ruled the Oceans for many, many years, but now man is quickly driving them to extinction. If you ever get the opportunity to see one of these amazing creatures, do not fear it. It is a living, breathing animal that is capable of thought, just like us. Sure they may not be able to think to the extent that we do or do the things that we do, but everything they do, just like us requires thought and in many cases strategy. 

In total... New Jersey has seen a grand total of 18 shark attacks in the state of New Jersey since 1670. The latest fatality was in 1960. Despite all of these big named sharks that come to New Jersey, attacks are incredibly rare. Many times these sharks will swim right by you and you would never even know it. As mentioned before... Just about every species of shark that I typed up are seriously threatened with extinction. There are many more sharks that come to New Jersey that are also threatened with extinction that I did not mention.  Every year, over 20,000,000 sharks are killed for their fins and other reasons. Shark populations are quickly decreasing. The majority of people in the world have never seen a shark in real life. Those who have know of their beauty and mystery. It is up to us to save each and every one of these species of shark to ensure that future generations will be able to experience the same feeling we who have seen a shark will feel. 





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