Sharks that can be found in New York’s marine waters play an important role in the food chain by keeping populations of fish and marine life in check. Without sharks, a balanced ocean ecosystem can be disrupted and cause negative effects on the entire ocean food web.
Shark sightings are a good indicator of a healthy ocean environment. If you’re seeing more sharks, then you’re seeing signs of a healthy marine habitat.
If you see a shark, first make sure you stay out of the water and that your surroundings are safe. After you and others are at a safe distance, consider taking a photo and sharing your observation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation through their Shark Spotter digital survey.
Photo of a shortfin mako shark provided by DEC.