Just in time for beach season, a new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that great white shark populations are increasing off the east coast of the U.S. and Canada. The NOAA report says federal protections on the big fish, like the ban in 1997 on hunting the shark, have caused this surge in population.
One author of the report, Tobey H. Curtis said, “There’s this general pattern of where the white sharks are protected, they seem to recover.” Another author, Cami McCandless, said, “The species appears to be recovering. This tells us the management tools appear to be working.”
The American and Canadian northern atlantic population is now considered to be anywhere between 3,000 and 5,000, reports WTOP. People are most likely to run into great whites in their waters between Massachusetts and southern New Jersey.
Shark populations began declining with the popularity of movies such as Jaws. Myths perpetuated about shark attacks caused widespread panic and over-fishing of the apex predators.