PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A report that scientists are calling one of the most comprehensive studies of great white sharks finds that their numbers are surging in the ocean off the Eastern U.S. and Canada after decades of decline — bad news if you’re a seal, but something experts say shouldn’t instill fear in beachgoers this summer.
The study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, published this month in the journal PLOS ONE, says the population of the notoriously elusive fish has climbed since about 2000 in the western North Atlantic.
The scientists behind the study attribute the resurgence to conservation efforts, such as a federal 1997 act that prevented hunting of great whites, and greater availability of prey. The species is listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
“The species appears to be recovering,” says Cami McCandless, one of the authors. “This tells us the management tools appear to be working.”
Anybody else hearing the music from JAWS?