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Surf's Up for Sharks on NJ Shore

A six-foot shark temporarily beached itself on the Jersey shore this past weekend.
/ Source: NBCPhiladelphia.com

A six-foot shark temporarily beached itself on the Jersey shore this past weekend and a local surfer captured the dramatic event on video.

Surfer Jennifer Abbondanza was quick to grab her camera when a small blue shark flopped out of the surf and on to the beach in Seaside Park, N.J. this past weekend.

The six-footer was determined not to stay long, though, as it wiggled its way back into the ocean water and swam away from shore.

"It's unusual to see a blue shark so close," says Jim Hutchinson, Jr. of the Recreational Fishing Alliance in New Gretna.

"I think it's a good sign of improving water quality. It means that our water is becoming cleaner. When water is clean, you get more bait. So when you see small sharks, that means that we have a lot of bait fish," according to Hutchinson who believes the blue shark was hunting food close to the shore.

This is only one of the many shark sightings along the New Jersey shoreline in the past month.

Seaside Park beaches were cleared July 14 when lifeguards spotted two five-foot sharks swimming along the coast.

More shark sightings occurred near Ocean Beach on the barrier island of Toms River in the past month.

Jim Hutchinson Jr. of the Recreational Fishing Alliance in New Gretna said that the smooth dogfish shark (have no teeth is the most common in the Atlantic waters off New Jersey.

Other sharks that could have been spotted are thresher sharks, dusky sharks, brown sharks and ocassionally blue, Hutchinson said.

In our waters, pretty much the only time you'd be bitten is by accident, if the shark thinks you're a small bait fish," Hutchinson said after the mid-July shark sightings. "I don't think it should be anything to keep people from the water."