Dated: 07/23/2018

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It’s that time of year again – shark week. Made famous by the Discovery Channel, I wonder how many people remember that the novel Jaws, and hence the nation’s fascination with sharks, began on Long Beach Island with the shark attacks of 1916. It was a highly publicized series of events commencing with the death of University of Pennsylvania student, Charles Vansant off the Beach Haven Fishing pier on July 1, 1916. The attacks continued through July 12, 1916 leaving four dead and one injured.

In keeping with the spirit of Shark Week 2018, I thought it appropriate to mention a few of the shark species that are abundant in the local New Jersey waters. The most popular shark, or perhaps better to say notorious, is the Great White Shark – easily identified by it’s broad head coming to a sharp nose, white underbelly, and large triangular white teeth. This species is frequently found off New Jersey and points further north coming from the south with the warming waters of summer. Known to reach lengths in excess of sixteen feet, Great White sharks are usually found in the six to eight foot range when encountered off New Jersey.

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                                                          Eight foot Great White off Atlantic City July 2018

Mako sharks are also abundant in the New Jersey waters and are a favorite of sports fishermen. It is the fastest shark on earth swimming at speeds approaching sixty miles per hour and has been known to jump fifteen feet out of the water when hooked. It has a long torpedo-like body with a thin snout and jagged, narrow, pointed teeth. They can get as big as 14 feet and weight close to 400 pounds. They are usually found at a great distance offshore in the deeper canyons.

Bull Sharks are found frequently off the coast of and around New Jersey as are one of the few species that can survive in salt and fresh water and are known to travel up rivers. They have distinct, broad snouts and short and thick bodies. They have a reputation for aggressive and unpredictable behavior. Bull sharks average six to eight feet in length and weigh several hundred pounds. They mate in late summer and are frequently found in the back bays.

Sand Tigers can be found off the coast of New Jersey. They are a slow and non-aggressive shark with a broad head and conical nose. They average six to ten feet in length and several hundred pounds. They are known to be caught off the surf, but in much smaller sizes. They have narrow, pointed, and serrated teeth and are frequently found entangled in fisherman’s nets snagged on shallow wrecks.

The sharks known as the “smooth dogfish” are a catch-all name for a variety of small species of shark abundant throughout the New Jersey waters. They frequent the shallows of the surf and bays hunting for crabs and clams and other smaller fish. They lack large teeth – rather have rows of denticles – specially raised cartilage that are used to crush their food. They average only a few feet in length and tend to swim in packs. They are extremely fast and frightened of humans. If you see a dog shark, it’s because you’ve caught one while fishing for something else.

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                                                                                         Smooth Dogfish

Other species of sharks can be found off New Jersey, but these are the most prolific. The further from shore, the deeper the water, and the larger the shark. They are rarely seen, and there will be more excitement on television this week than by chumming and fishing all summer. Tune in, tune out, and if you’re looking to buy, sell, or rent a house this week, give me a call.

From Your “Running Realtor” Andrew Gonzales

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Andrew Gonzales

As a lifelong resident of Ocean County, New Jersey, Andrew Gonzales brings exceptional insight into local market trends, and full knowledge of ordinances, insurance requirements, and FEMA standards. A....

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