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Sharks Common in NJ [AUDIO]

Shark attacks are very rare in New Jersey waters, but that doesn’t mean these ocean predators aren’t all around us.

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great white shark
Dan Kitwood, Getty Images

They are common, in fact. More than a dozen species of sharks can be found along the Jersey shore, according to Dr. Kenneth Able with the Rutgers University Marine Field Station, and they’re not pinned down to only deeper waters.

“They occur in estuaries and bays, in fairly shallow water,” Able explained. “And they occur along the sandy beaches along the shore.”

Luckily for us, though, sharks are generally uninterested in humans. The list of New Jersey shark attacks over the past 110 years is much shorter than most would think.

There have been four non-fatal attacks in New Jersey since 2005, according to the Global Shark Attack File, and the latest fatal incident occurred nearly 90 years ago.

“They’re interested in, perhaps, eating the flipper of a turtle or a big fish, and they get confused and accidentally attack a human,” Able added, joking that it’s more dangerous to travel the New Jersey Turnpike during rush hour than to swim at New Jersey’s beaches this summer.

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