This past weekend I was hanging with a group of open water swimmers, and they started talking about great white sharks in the waters off Long Island. I’ve always known there are sharks throughout the north Atlantic – recently I’ve read the reports of sharks along the shores of Cape Cod – but here on Long Island I thought the only place you would cross paths with something as big as a great white would be miles and miles out at sea. Turns out I might be wrong.
The swimmers told me to check out a website called OCEARCH. The site lets you “observe the navigational pattern of sharks that have been tagged with satellite tracking technology all for the purpose of shark conservation.”
So, chances are there are sharks swimming in and around the waters you like to surf. It shouldn’t freak you out, really, but it’s still a little unnerving to know that you’re treading water with big toothy creatures.
As OCEARCH importantly notes, “sharks play a crucial role of maintaining balance in the delicate oceanic ecosystem as they have an effect on all levels in the food web below them. Unfortunately sharks are being slaughtered every day putting the shark at risk for survival. The navigational and migratory data being collected from OCEARCH will be used to support and devise successful conservation and management strategies which will affect policy for global change.”