We have written two recent articles about the increase in large shark activity in Atlantic City, Toms River and other parts of South Jersey and the state of New Jersey overall.

Large sharks meaning 11 to 12 feet long and weighing 800 to 1,000 pounds.

There remains little doubt that as our waters have warmed, large sharks are migrating northward.

Do you ever remember this many large shark sightings in New Jersey? I don’t.

If you missed our coverage about this, here are links at your ready reference to easily catch-up:

Read More: 880-Pound Shark Pings Off The Coast Of Toms River, New Jersey

Read More: Shark Activity Increase Off NJ & Atlantic City: Here’s Why

I’ve been doing a lot of reading regarding the many results achieved by OCEARCH Research, an organization that collects data all about the marine environment and reports their findings to the public.

For example, they have tagged 83 sharks over the past 9 years, which have provided a treasure trove of important data. Well

They have also done awesome collaborations with Sea World. I’m a big fan of OCEARCH Research.

The first thing that OCEARCH reminds the swimming public is that you are entering the shark’s home and not the other way around.

They also regularly counsel that your chances of having a direct encounter with a shark is extremely low.

Here are the exact words from Charles Fischer, the founder of OCEARCH. "The odds of any interaction are so low, it's much more dangerous to drive your car … This is an irrational fear that doesn't statistically exist," said Fischer, who is also the Expedition Leader for OCEARCH.

I learned from Fischer that the shark population has recovered after declining to single-digits of where they should have been in the 1990’s.

Fischer credits various conservation efforts, including the Marine Mammal Protection Act for fixing the problem.

It’s taken 30 years to correct and we’re still not there, yet. But, all things appear to be headed in the right direction according to Fischer.

Another thing that seems backwards is that when there are more sharks, there are also more fish. Fischer describes it, “There's so many fish here
because of the sharks. "It prevents one tier of the food chain from collapsing others,” said Fischer.

OCEARCH often reminds humans that when you step into the waters, you are entering a wild place. They liken it to walking into the woods when there have been bear, mountain lion or other wild animal sightings.

You have to be mindful of your surroundings at all times.

OCEARCH reminds that if you see a bunch of birds feeding from birds, which may also involve seals feeding from the fish … there could be sharks swimming right below to eat the seals.

OCEARCH recommends that you practice personal accountability and remember that you are placing yourself in the middle of the food chain.

Surfers know all about this. OCEARCH recommends that all swimmers learn about these important facts. They do so be educating, but, not unduly alarming the public.


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