The marine waters of New York are home to over ten species of sharks, some as small as 4 feet and a few large ones, like the basking shark growing to a maximum of 30 feet. Though sharks have always called the New York waters their home, the sightings have increased over recent years. The factors contributing to the spike include improvement in the quality of water and an increase in the population of the bunker fish because of the several conservation efforts taken.
Of the several places, sightings are on the rise in New York’s Long Island, mainly during summer. Since June 2022, there have been records of around 5 verified encounters where sharks bit surfers and swimmers. Fortunately, the bites weren’t fatal. As a precautionary measure, authorities temporarily closed Smith Point Beach and Rockaway Beach.
When talking about the number of shark attacks in the state, the International Shark Attack File estimates show there were just 12 of them from 1860-2021. The number increased in 2022 after the five probable bites from 30th June – 20th July.
List of the Different Types of Sharks in New York
|Basking Shark||23-30 feet||Not aggressive|
|Blue Shark||6-11 feet||Not aggressive|
|Common Thresher Shark||12-18 feet||Not aggressive|
|Dusky Shark||9 -12 feet||Not aggressive (until provoked)|
|Sand Tiger Shark||7-10 feet||Not aggressive (due to their small mouths)|
|Sandbar Shark||5.5-8.5 feet||Not aggressive|
|Shortfin Mako Shark||6.5-9.5 feet||Highly aggressive|
|Smooth Hammerhead Shark||8-12 feet||Not aggressive (but potentially dangerous)|
|Great White Shark||11-16 feet||Highly aggressive|
|Smooth Dogfish||4-5 feet||Not aggressive (due to their blunt teeth)|
|Spiny Dogfish||2.5-3.5 feet||Not aggressive (due to their small size)|