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Shark attacks on the East Coast are unusually high for this time of year — and officials say it may be good news.
Efforts to protect endangered animals and revitalize local ecosystems may be the reason for the rapid uptick in shark sightings in New York specifically and along the Eastern coast.
“We understand there may be residual fear, but the presence of sharks in the ocean is the result of successful long-term conservation efforts and a sign of a healthy environment. Sharks are generally uninterested in humans, and shark attacks remain extremely rare,” the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation tweeted.
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“Sharks don’t live in polluted and contaminated areas,” Chris Paparo, manager at Stony Brook University’s Marine Sciences Center, told the Wall Street Journal. “So what we’re seeing now is a success story.”
Sharks have been active near East Coast shores this summer and the Empire State’s Rockaway Beach was reopened on Sunday after shark sightings in the area closed it the day before.
This year, there have been an unprecedented 19 shark-sightings on Long Island’s Nassau County in New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul tweeted.
SHARK QUIZ! HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW YOUR SHARKS THIS SUMMER?
A number of Nassau County beaches have been closed or restricted multiple times this summer due to shark sightings. Some beaches are restricting beach-goers to “knee-deep” swimming only.
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Shark sightings all along the East Coast forced more beachgoers out of the water over the weekend.
In Massachusetts, there were more than 20 sightings tracked on the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy (AWSC) Sharktivity app between Saturday and Sunday.
According to Boston.com, Nauset Public Beach and LeCount Hollow Beach were closed to swimming on Sunday afternoon.