First beaches weren’t going to open because of COVID-19, and now many have had temporary closures due to another safety fear: sharks.
This week there have been many shark sightings in the news for the tri-state area. The most prominent was a 10-foot-long great white shark named “Miss May” who was tracked off the coast of Atlantic City, New Jersey on Tuesday of this week. The non-profit research group Ocearch Tweets out Miss May’s whereabouts, and also predicts she will be passing through Montauk within the next few days.
The founder of Ocearch, Chris Fischer, told Patch.com that she is heading north from Atlantic City currently, and if she “repeats her migratory path” she will be in Montauk waters shortly. After, she will likely continue up to Cape Cod. Montauk also apparently holds a “nursery” where baby sharks live and grow until migrating north when they are a couple years old!
— OCEARCH (@OCEARCH) July 28, 2020
There have also been multiple other shark sightings this week, not Great Whites specifically. According to ABC-7, there were three on Monday and two more on Tuesday, all on Long Island resulting in the closures of Jones Beach, Long Beach and others on the South Shore of Long Island for the remainder of those days. It was said to be a bull shark, though it wasn’t immediately clear if the sightings were of the same or different sharks. According to NBC New York, all beaches in Hempstead were closed again yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon after more sightings by lifeguards.
There are a few different reasons for the supposed increase in shark sightings. One, that with high temps the past two weeks, sharks are coming closer to the shore in search of food. Others believe there is the same amount of sharks as normal this time of year, but there have been many more sightings because more people have been out on the water in boats and on beaches due to the pandemic. ABC-7 also reported that there have been 20 local shark sightings with the past 12 months.
Cuomo has said the state will look into it.
Though none of this week’s sightings are in NYC, about a month ago a thresher shark was spotted in the shallow waters of Rockaway Beach in Queens.
featured image source: Facebook / Ocearch