Increasing shark sightings across the coast of Maine continue

Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 10:59 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Maine (WABI) - If you’re hitting the open ocean this summer, you may need a bigger boat, as the famous movie line goes.

Shark sightings are up in Maine, and so are encounters with humans across the nation.

Tom Krosnowski wanted to find out if there was any reason for Mainers to worry when going for a swim.

This is no fish story - great white sharks are passing through the Pine Tree State.

Tess Moore studies these creatures at the College of the Atlantic, and tells us it’s an increasing trend.

“The white sharks have always been here. But, there has been an uptick in sightings in recent years,” said Tess Moore, a senior at the College of the Atlantic.

All that fresh seal meat in Maine might explain what “Crystal” was doing off the coast of Ellsworth last month. But, she wasn’t here long - the 460-pound juvenile moved on to Jonesport towards the Bay of Fundy, an ample feeding ground.

“The prevailing theory among experts is that increasing seal populations are causing there to be an increasing source of food. So, that’s giving them more motivation to start moving more into colder waters,” Moore said.

Recent shark attacks across both coasts might scare some swimmers out of the water, but Moore says that shouldn’t be the case.

“I would say that this is not anything to worry about. You should just be cautious, the same way you would be cautious if you’re crossing the street. It’s a very small risk in comparison to crossing the street. You’re more likely to get killed by a vending machine falling on you than get attacked by a shark,” Moore said.

Great Whites aren’t the only sharks in Maine. Check out this 18-foot basking shark scene off Mount Desert Rock!

“That was one of the most amazing days of my life. Basking sharks, it’s important to remember, they are filter feeders, so they pose no danger to humans whatsoever. They’re gentle giants,” Moore said.

Moore says thresher, blue and mako sharks plus porbeagle and dogfish have also been known to frequent Maine - but they all have one thing in common.

“They’re mysterious, they’re strong, they’re beautiful. They’re incredible animals, which is why I think so many people are so passionate about them. They’ve been here longer than we have. The ocean is their space. They’re also incredibly important to the ecosystem. They’re animals that are definitely worthy of respect, and we should do everything we can to protect them,” Moore said.

Copyright 2022 WABI. All rights reserved.