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  • 710 WOR

    Despite Early Shark Activity, New York Beaches Should Be Safe This Summer

    By Mike Caragliano,

    Photo: AFP

    A pair of shark attacks off the Florida panhandle and a lone attack in Hawaii in recent days all have some people on edge about sharks off the Tri-state area beaches, as beach weather rapidly eases into the Northeast. Yet, as shark experts are quick to point out, three incidents do not a trend make. Dr. Bob Heuter is the chief scientist of Ocearch, a group that tags and tracks large sharks around the Seven Seas. Heuter appeared on 710 WOR’s Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning program to remind listeners that using some common-sense tips will help you stay out of trouble before you go in the water.

    “The ocean is a wild place,” Heuter told Berman and Riedel. “Look at the ocean before you go in. If you see a lot of activity- a lot of fish, schools of fish, you see birds diving- that might mean there are sharks in the area that are feeding on those fish. They’re not interested in us; they’re interested in going after fish and other similar kinds of prey, and occasionally people get in the way and get bitten.”

    Heuter says the majority of sharks that might cause trouble in the summer waters off New York are juveniles, as older sharks tend to stay as far away from people as possible. “The area off of Long Island in the summertime is a fairly shark-y place. It always has been, except that we overfished sharks for about thirty years and they declined. They’re coming back now, and it’s a place where a lot of the younger sharks are growing up- we call it a nursery area for sharks. And sometimes, these younger ones, like younger human beings, are not very experienced, and they bite and they’re going after the wrong things. So, those are the ones that are typically causing the problems in New York.”

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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