Dear Jersey Shore beach-goers,
Sharks, including great white sharks, some of earth’s top predators, are lurking close to the New Jersey and Delaware coast, and researchers are tracking their every sighting.
“We believe that you all are living in some critical habitat here,” said Chris Fischer from OCEARCH.
OCEARCH is a non-profit organization that tracks sharks with satellite tracking tags in order to learn more about them, protect their declining population and help the public to be aware and not afraid.
They’ve also tracked Hilton, a 1300 pound great white shark that recently surfaced along the shores of Atlantic City.
“They’re here. They’re swimming these waters. They always have been," said Dr. Mike Hyatt, a veterinarian with Adventure Aquarium.
The group has tracked nearly two dozen great white sharks in our Northwest Atlantic Ocean.
Researchers don’t know much about great whites except that their population is declining.
“What we’re trying to do is solve the northwest Atlantic white shark puzzle,” Hyatt said.
They hope their research will help rebound the decline. Young great whites, a crucial creature at the top of the food chain, are especially vulnerable and are caught unintentionally.
“They help kind of manage the eco-system, the populations of all the other fish stocks," Hyatt said.
“We’re trying to figure out where our great white sharks in this region of the east coast are mating, birthing, traveling and where the babies live," said Fischer.
The group does not work solely in our Jersey Shore area. They’ve researched in the southeastern U.S. as well as New England.
NBC10 got the chance to board an OCEARCH ship near Wildwood, and you can track along with them as well.
Click here to track the sharks near the Jersey Shore and around the world.