Boater Reports Great White Shark Sighted off Island Beach State Park

Coast Guard received the call about the shark sighting.

The U.S. Coast Guard at Barnegat Light has confirmed a sighting of a 12-foot great white shark in the waters off Island Beach State Park.

A call came in from a boater on Sunday who reported that the shark was spotted about 200 feet off the shore in the southern end of the park, Petty Officer David Black said.

Superintendent Mark Pitchell said he had been informed the shark had been spotted by a boater.

"I'm not aware this has happened very much," he said, referring to a great white shark sighting.

Bathing Beach 1 is open to swimmers today. Both bathing beaches will be open on June 18, Pitchell said.

Come back to Patch for more information later.

Joe June 06, 2011 at 12:26 PM
I guess the dead baby white shark found in the bay several years ago in the spring was one that was brought to the area. I guess the kayker who was 'bumped' by a great white a few years ago in the spring was bogus. Do your research. Great whites give live birth in the spring-summer in warm shallow bays. The whale is long buried.
James Hanebury June 06, 2011 at 12:26 PM
There has been one person killed by lightening at IBSP from 1993 to date, zero from shark attacks. There have always been stories about breeding Great Whites in the bay in the area of the Sedge Islands from the lease holders and older IBSP hands.
MIC June 06, 2011 at 12:35 PM
That’s all well and nice! I have done my research on these animals and have studied them for many years. I am in no way saying that it won’t be possible for them to breed in the bay, but saying it’s more likely uncommon and was drawn to the shore by a rioting carcass of a whale that had drifted in. Which is a really good guess on why it may have been in the area? Just because the whale was buried etc, doesn’t mean the shark couldn’t find another source of food. I guess time will tell, if it’s in the area it wont leave quickly as long as their is food, their should be more sighting if people are looking for it.
lalamama June 06, 2011 at 01:10 PM
it's a big ocean guys. there's sharks, whales and all sorts of creatures we can't see and we swim anyway. if you're afraid, stay out of the water.
JC June 06, 2011 at 01:15 PM
A buried whale carcass can still attract sharks as the whale begins to decompose in the sand. Read this article about a similar incident in California where sharks have been spotted regularly near another burial site of a dead whale: http://www.surfermag.com/features/beached-whale-shark-attacks/
Rachel Tomasi June 06, 2011 at 01:44 PM
A friend of mine caught a smaller or baby shark last nite.they threw him back in but if it WAS a baby vs smaller shark that would make sense about them giving birth near land.
Roy R June 06, 2011 at 01:58 PM
I could be wrong, but it makes sense to me that sharks would give live birth in a shallower area. There are less predators who could eat baby sharks in the area, and the bay also gives them a decent food supply so they can learn to hunt and fend for themselves before finding their way out into the ocean. This from no research or studying.
LB Toms River June 06, 2011 at 06:46 PM
I'm with lalamama on this one .... Stay out of the water if you're scared ! There are plenty of other things out there that can hurt you beside sharks !
MIC June 06, 2011 at 06:51 PM
Like Snooki coming back to town, that will scare all the sharks away.
Joe June 06, 2011 at 06:56 PM
""" buried whale carcass can still attract sharks as the whale begins to decompose in the sand. Read this article about a similar incident in California where sharks have been spotted regularly near another burial site of a dead whale:"" I think alot depends on how far from the surf line it is buried. Back in the early 80's 24 tons of right whale washed up. It was buried on the beach. It stayed buried without leaching for about three months. It was then dug up and taken to the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor.
Mr. ? June 06, 2011 at 08:34 PM
I was fishing on the beach at IBSP the other day, right next to the buried whale. Thankfully the wind was blowing the stench the other way. I was there at high tide and the waves were washing half way up onto where the whale is buried. I am sure there is lots of scent in the water as is in the air at the site, and would be reason for a white shark to be there. That would be a good question for the biologists who investigated to see if the carcass had bite marks. They did say it may have been hit by a ship propeller. White sharks migrate off our coast and a Mr Mundus out of Montauk caught a world record 3427lbs monster! while fishing under a dead whale he was alleged to have killed to use as chum.
Dana Pearson June 06, 2011 at 09:08 PM
I think it's great... if you're scared... GO HOME!! The Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916 were a series of shark attacks along the coast of New Jersey between July 1 and July 12, 1916, in which four people were killed and one injured. Since 1916, scholars have debated which shark species was responsible and the number of animals involved, with the great white shark and the bull shark most frequently being blamed. Local and national reaction to the attacks involved a wave of panic that led to shark hunts aimed at eradicating the population of "man-eating" sharks and protecting the economies of New Jersey's seaside communities. Resort towns enclosed their public beaches with steel nets to protect swimmers. Scientific knowledge about sharks before 1916 was based on conjecture and speculation. The attacks forced ichthyologists to reassess common beliefs about the abilities of sharks and the nature of shark attacks. The Jersey Shore attacks immediately entered into American popular culture, where sharks became caricatures in editorial cartoons representing danger. The attacks inspired Peter Benchley's novel Jaws (1974), an account of a great white shark that torments the fictional coastal community of Amity. Jaws was made into an influential film in 1975 by Steven Spielberg. The attacks became the subject of documentaries for the History Channel, National Geographic Channel, and Discovery Channel, including Blood in the Water (2009).
Joe June 06, 2011 at 10:00 PM
Shame they couldn't get it buried any higher or deeper up the beach. In the early 80's a D-8 bulldozer was used to dig the hole. I am guessing they didn't have a big machine this time. Wait till it really starts to decompose. Gonna be some unhappy people.
Mr. ? June 06, 2011 at 11:24 PM
Supposedly, they are not allowed to bury it. At least that's what myself and my angler friend were told by a park official. They are supposed to blow it up to pieces. Sounds rather messy and that would be a lot of seagull food. I also think it is great if it is here, and understand bathers would be afraid, but I don't agree they should "GO HOME". They could not bury it higher on up the beach because they have the large area roped off. Too close to the dunes, and the area is a little narrow. They need to allow passage for the four wheel drive fisherman to go around. Probably should have cut it up and removed it. They couldn't tow it back out to sea as it would just come back on another beach
Joe June 07, 2011 at 12:49 AM
"""Supposedly, they are not allowed to bury it. At least that's what myself and my angler friend were told by a park official. They are supposed to blow it up to pieces. Sounds rather messy and that would be a lot of seagull food. "" Someone is playing on joke on you or you are playing a joke on us. By the way, gulls will not eat the blubber. At least they did not eat the blubber of the early 80's whale.
robert June 07, 2011 at 07:19 PM
Gabriel - So you are aware I was paddling my surfboard 100ft off the beach that day at the exact time of the spotting. Adding to insult I was dusk surfing as well the day before so... Never in thirty years have I ever heard of such a thing. Next time it should be interesting ...... I guess when your time is up it's up.
skiin June 07, 2011 at 09:56 PM
"but saying it’s more likely uncommon and was drawn to the shore by a rioting carcass of a whale that had drifted in" I hate when Whale carcass riot!! They make so much noise, block Traffic, and they smell really bad!!!! sorry couldn't help myself
steve June 07, 2011 at 10:02 PM
its a Basking shark . they were spotted a few days ago up near us . their basically harmless . http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/sh_sh_shaaark_ZQfcP7H12pZb9PiiZ5YZ8M
john June 08, 2011 at 01:40 PM
that shark isnt the only one swimming around read some fishing reports people and youll see how many sharks people are actually catching right off the coast.. you can go at night and catch thresher sharks right off the beach..and not to mention the guy who cought two tiger sharks off lbi last weekend off the beach.
steve June 08, 2011 at 06:34 PM
those were SAND tiger sharks .
John Destasio June 08, 2011 at 06:36 PM
There are sharks in the water all the time. Last year just north of IBSP there was a 8 ft blue shark that swam all the way up to the sand, popped himself for about a minute and talked with the beachgoers, then turned around and headed off. I have surfed with burse and threshers at Casino Pier before. They're not LOOKING for you. Also, if it DID just give birth, chances of it feeding are slim to none. There is a natural hormone released int he mother when she gives birth. This completely curbs her appetite for about a week. This is to prevent her from eating her young. So, if it JUST gave birth, it is a non-issue. Brown, Blue, Nurse, Thresher, Tiger's, and even Mako's, are a "fairly" common sight off NJ Beaches, most of which are much more dangerous than Great White's, because of their more aggressive nature.
Louise June 09, 2011 at 01:21 PM
I've spent my whole life learning about and experiencing Great Whites. Been diving in Gansbaii, South Africa near False Bay, the largest concentration of Great Whites in the world. Observed young Great Whites at the Monterey Bay program. These sharks are magnificent. There is still so much scientists and biologists still don't know about them - one is their breeding habits. They speculate but the how, why and where of GW breeding remains undocumented. They are rarely spotted in our beach areas, but probably there more often than they are spotted. They swim within yards of swimmers daily off California, South Africa, Australia - and yet rarely engage them. If there is a sighting when you're present, yes get out of the water. But to propose mass hysteria and helicopters and shark nets is obscene. It is their ocean, not ours. Be respectful. There is a lot to know about Great Whites that you won't get from just browsing a few books and the Internet, please keep that in mind when reading this blog where I see a few remarks professing expertise on the subject.
Louise June 09, 2011 at 01:25 PM
By the way - why was the whale carcass buried and not brought out to sea (either towed or in parts)? Nature would have properly disposed of it.
John Destasio June 09, 2011 at 06:48 PM
We don't have any vessel capable of towing the whale like that. I also think that it came in at a very high tide, and they would have had to drag it across a bunch of sand to get it floating again. Lastly, this happened on memorial day weekend, and I doubt they would have wanted to create the stur briging in big machinery to handle it. There have been a few whales washing up over the last decade or so, and almost all of them got buried. Guess it's just how they do it.
dorym July 30, 2011 at 02:16 PM
Hey people, guess what? The sharks live in the water, leave them alone.
NLS August 04, 2011 at 03:25 AM
Louise you're so right. Its so funny to read people so definitively saying one thing when really, there's no way of telling for sure. Of course the shark could come in due to interest in a while carcass or a nice shallow water breeding spot, but who are we to say for sure? The point is, it came around, it's doing it's thing, it's living life now stop trying to act like experts against people you'll never meet, get off your computer and live your life. Yeesh.
ROSS J. TROVATO August 02, 2012 at 11:02 PM
rc August 04, 2012 at 05:20 AM
your more common to die in a plane crash then get attacked by a shark
rc August 04, 2012 at 05:22 AM
your def wrong just because there a shark dosent mean they will eat a human there more afraid of us then we are of them thats how every animal is! when there threatend or in danger is when they attack... they just dont come up and eat people for fun! the only time they wld do that is in breeding season when there prolly more protective and in when there feeding like on seals cause they think your competition..
jim August 04, 2012 at 05:41 AM
get used to whales , dolphins and other mammals washing up at a record rate if the oil companies get the permit to start sonic blasting off the jersey coast. it will burst their ear drums, kill scallop beds and scatter fish like striper hundreds of miles from their usual habitats. i heard scientists and a captain who sailed the sea with jaques cousteau tell of how much devastation it will cause. they say the sound will be loud enough underwater to be heard from maine to florida . i listened to scientists, commercial fishermen and more testify at the bureau of ocean energy management in atlantic city in april. oil lobbyists were there testifying there was a lot of money to be made. if they are allowed to do this it will be devastating for the nj shore.


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