Great white sharks are no strangers to the cold waters off the New Jersey shoreline. Considered one of the top predators in the ocean, Great Whites are the subject of frequent studies by marine biologists but the most popular shark in the sea can be pretty elusive when it comes to studies. On specific area that is consistently a topic among researchers is Great White reproduction. Now it appears that a stretch of ocean off New Jersey is the newest hotspot when it comes to Great White birthing grounds.
A team of scientists released some recent findings that revealed a substantial number of sharks less than a year old that consistently stayed in an area between New Jersey and Long Island. These 10 sharks and their behavior marks this area as a definite nursery for Great White sharks.
The scientists actually use a pretty specific set of criteria before labeling an area as a shark “nursery.” Research must be conducted to show that sharks less than a year old frequent a specific area more than others. Also, the animals must use the same stretch of ocean for extended periods, year after year.
Discovering a nursery like the one in New Jersey is a very important find for the Great White species. They’re an apex predator and it’s vital that they continue to thrive.
The nursery research provided plenty of additional information that can be used in the research of the Great White. The tags used to track the sharks not only showed that they were using the stretch between New Jersey and Long Island as a breeding ground and nursery, it also showed specific details about the environment itself. That information could be used to drive habitat preservation efforts in various other parts of the world.
The sharks tagged at the New Jersey nursery represent the first baby Great Whites to be successfully tagged, tracked and thoroughly studied in this portion of the North Atlantic. Most scientists feel that the initial information gathered is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what we can actually learn from these animals.