No, just regular old Sandbar sharks along the Jersey Shore
In case you didn't hear there were two sharks spotted off Barnegat Light a couple of weeks ago. As the crow flies - or, more accurately, as the fish swims - this tiny resort town at the northern tip of Long Beach Island could be the next logical target for a couple of sharks spotted off Ocean County beaches just northeast of Barnegat.
A shark in the waters around here in the summertime is a normal occurrence. They're out there feeding on bunker pods like always...so don't worry.
If you live around here long enough, you're bound to see anything in these waters . . . dolphins, whales, tuna, and sharks. They're just part of the ecosystem.
Last week, though, lifeguards in three Jersey Shore towns told swimmers that it wasn't safe to be in the water after receiving reports that two sharks were close to shore.
The first sightings came Monday in Ocean Beach, a barrier island that is part of Toms River. On Wednesday, the beach patrol in Seaside Park reported that two five-foot long sharks had been spotted in the shallows about 10 a.m. Then the next day, in the South Seaside Park Beach section of Berkeley Township, what were believed to be the same two sharks were seen about 30 yards from the beach.
The constant hype about sharks that scares people into misunderstanding what's really going on out there in the waters off the Jersey Shore. They're just out there being sharks. They're not really dangerous at all to humans.
The sharks seen last week were likely sandbar sharks, also known as brown sharks. They are an inshore species common off New Jersey, usually more active at dawn and dusk. The world's most dangerous sharks - the bull, great white, and tiger - are rarely seen off the coast here. When they are, they're usually in the deepwater "canyons" more than 50 miles offshore.
So, don't get hysterical, and don't ask for "a bigger boat."
If you want to have your own lookout for sharks, more likely, whales and dolphin, there is home on the corner of 22nd and Bayview in Barnegat Light. The owners spared no expense when redoing this home in 2008. Two bedrooms have full baths. Beautiful bay views and close proximity to both the bay beach, the ocean beach.
Karl Hess, Barnegat
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