East Coast Seeing More Great Whites

But, phew: no rise in shark attacks

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 21, 2014 3:13 PM CDT

(Newser) – If you live on the East Coast, it seems you have some new neighbors. The number of great white sharks in the area has grown to some 2,000, a major NOAA study finds. That's a "very healthy number," according to Nature World News, which advises readers not to panic: Though sharks' numbers appear to be rising, the number of attacks hasn't. The study Conservationists had worried about the population, which remains at just 69% of its peak in the second half of the 20th century.

Still, "the species appears to be recovering," says a study author. Off the other side of the continent, the sharks' population seems to be growing, too: In the eastern north Pacific, they're "returning to levels of abundance," says a researcher, per Reuters. Experts say federal protections for sharks and their prey have helped the population climb. Since they're top predators, if they're doing well, it suggests the rest of the ocean is too, one expert notes. There is some disagreement among researchers, however: A 2011 study found low numbers of the animals, and the researchers who conducted it "stand firmly behind" their findings. Meanwhile, a pair of great white sharks has been traveling toward Texas, surprising scientists.

Great white shark populations are climbing on the East Coast, experts say.
Great white shark populations are climbing on the East Coast, experts say.   (Shutterstock)
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