NOAA – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a new study conducted by the scientists has shown a significant rise in the population of Great White Sharks in North Atlantic Ocean that touches beaches of the Eastern U.S. and Canada.
The beaches are still safe and will not have any negative safety affect because of increasing number of sharks, claimed reports.
The study by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists, which was published this month in the journal PLOS ONE, confirms that the population of sharks has increased since about 2000 in the western North Atlantic.
The researchers behind the study credit the resurgence to conservation efforts, like a federal 1997 act that prevented hunting of great whites, and greater availability of prey, according to AP.
“The species appears to be recovering,” said Cami McCandless, one of the authors, according to AP. “This tells us the management tools appear to be working.”
Despite their reputation, confrontations are, rare, as only 106 unprovoked white shark attacks have occurred in U.S. waters since 1916, according to a study by the University of Florida. Of those attacks, 13 were fatal.
They are, though, ecologically critical. They are apex predators — those at the top of the food chain — and help control the populations of other species. That would include the grey seal, whose growing colonies off Massachusetts have provided food.
“You should be concerned for a good reason,” said James Sulikowski, a professor of marine science at the University of New England in Portland, who was not involved in the study but noted it could help better target future conservation efforts for great whites. “We need these sharks in our waters.”
A separate study published in PLOS ONE this month suggested that great whites — also known just as white sharks — are also returning to abundance in the eastern North Pacific Ocean.
The report also illuminates where people encounter white sharks — mostly between Massachusetts and New Jersey during the summer and off Florida in the winter, it says.
They also migrate based on water temperature and availability of prey, and are more common along the coast than offshore, the report states.
“We determined there were enough animals that there was a low to very low risk of extinction, and in fact, most developments suggest an increasing population,” said Heidi Dewar, a fisheries research biologist with NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, according to AP.