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Experts Explain Why Sharks Are Making A Comeback On The Northeast Coast

BALTIMORE (WJZ)— Within the last few weeks, the Northeastern coastline has seen two shark encounters. One of them was a bite! So what does it all mean for beachgoers?

Monique Griego found out.

While there probably aren't sharks at the Inner Harbor, there have been some close encounters pretty close to home.

Experts explain why some sharks may be making a comeback.

A 16-foot great white shark got up close and personal with boaters off the coast of Cape May, N.J.

The incredible encounter happened over the weekend and was caught on tape by the vessel's owner.

"It's awesome. It wasn't scary," said Steve Clark, who recorded the encounter.

The sighting comes just a couple weeks after a 16-year-old in Delaware had a much less pleasant run in, being bit by a young sand bar shark.

While the incident put some beachgoers on edge, experts say there's no need to panic.

"It's unfortunate when it happens, but the chances of it happening are very slim," said Alan Henningsen, research specialist.

Hennignsen, a research specialist at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, has been studying sharks for 30 years. While the Atlantic has always had its fair share of sharks, studies show a jump in numbers.

Henningsen believes one reason for that could be "recently they've received some protection because they were threatened in many places," he said.

A report by scientists with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration showed a significant increase in great whites in the western northern Atlantic.

But Henningsen says attacks are still extremely rare.

"It shouldn't keep you out of the water or away from the beach," Henningsen said.

Instead he says look at the shark encounter video for what it is.

"It's a chance encounter, just an amazing site," Henningsen said.

Experts say there are ways to decrease your chances of having a shark encounter. For a list, click here.

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