Don’t be alarmed. Scientists say the shark sighting is actually a good sign.
A New York-based scientist captured a mesmerising video over the weekend that shows a spinner shark cruising through a massive school of fish from above.
“We need sharks," il Raconté Le New York Times. “It shows a healthy ecosystem. We need the top predators as much as we need the menhaden. But that’s not a story that sells. People want the shark attack story.”
le 24 July clip, shot with a drone in Southampton, New York, comes from Christopher Paparo, who manages a marine lab at Stony Brook University and goes by the social media moniker The Fish Guy.
It shows a spinner shark chowing down on a “shark buffet” of menhaden, a small fish commonly caught for use in fertiliser and bait.
“Huge schools of Atlantic Menhaden attract all sorts of wildlife!” the scientists said in his description of the video on YouTube. “On this day, they were being fed upon by blacktip and/or spinner sharks!"
It was a busy weekend for wildlife off of Long Island. The Fish Guy also caught some snaps of a humpback whale feeding on schools of fish in the same area on the eastern edge of Long Island, outside of New York City.
The shark he captured on video wasn’t the only one spotted in recent days. A handful of shark sightings over the past week have alarmed local authorities, who have briefly shut down various beaches and sent police officers out in watercraft for “shark patrols”.
But according to Mr Paparo, this isn’t a sign of more shark attack risk, but rather more people with technology and interest who are able to see the 20 or so different kinds of sharks in the region, who pose an “infinitesimal” risk to people.