Wednesday, July 10, 2024

NY DEC Advises Beach Goers to Be Shark Smart

DEC recently issued guidance to promote public safety at ocean beaches and help minimize the risk of negative interactions between people and sharks. The annual summer migration of sharks into New York's coastal waters is underway and sightings of shark activity in the nearshore ocean waters is expected to increase during the summer months, June through September. DEC encourages New Yorkers to be aware of their surroundings in the water with the potential for shark-human interactions and follow DEC guidelines to minimize the risk of negative interactions. Do your part and be ‘shark smart.’

While human-shark interactions are rare, we encourage you to take the following steps to reduce and minimize potential interactions with sharks:

  • Avoid areas with seals;
  • Avoid areas with schools of fish, splashing fish, or diving seabirds;
  • Avoid swimming at dusk, night, and dawn;
  • Avoid murky water;
  • Swim, paddle, and surf in groups;
  • Stay close to shore, where feet can touch the bottom; and
  • Always follow the instructions of lifeguards and park staff.

Sharks have existed in New York's marine waters for millions of years. Today there are more than 13 shark species that migrate through New York's marine waters each year. Each shark species has unique habitat and food preferences and plays an important role in maintaining a healthy and balanced marine ecosystem. Sharks can prevent other species from monopolizing limited resources and degrading the marine environment. The presence of sharks in New York's marine waters is a positive sign of a healthy marine ecosystem.