Sharks In New Jersey: Everything You Need To Know About Them

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Amin Tawar

Are There Sharks In New Jersey?

Sharks In New Jersey
Sharks In New Jersey: Everything You Need To Know About Them

Yes, there are sharks in New Jersey. New Jersey’s coastal waters also serve as nurseries for many shark species and provide growing young ones with a lot of resources. The shallow water bodies like Little Egg and Barnegat Bay Harbor provide excellent conditions for the offspring to thrive.

Types Of Sharks In New Jersey

There are many shark species found in New Jersey all year round, including in the winter. A few most common species are:

  • Sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus)

Sandbar sharks are commonly seen in muddy bottoms near shallow waters. They are seen in tropical waters in the western Atlantic, including New Jersey. Sandbar sharks prey on fish, crabs, rays, and mollusks. Adults can grow up to 6-7ft on average.

  • Dusky shark (Carcharhinus obscurus)

Dusky sharks have a habitat range extending worldwide, in tropical waters. In the western regions of the Atlantic Ocean, they are found from Massachusetts to Brazil. They commonly reach 10 ft in length and weigh over 350 to 400 lbs. Females grow bigger than males.

  • Smooth dogfish (Mustelus canis)

Smooth dogfish sharks are found in brackish waters and are bottom-dwelling species. They can be found in the mid-Atlantic in the summer and are mostly seen in shallow waters less than 60 ft deep. On average, they can reach about 5 feet.

  • Atlantic sharp-nose shark (Rhizoprionodon terraenovae)

Atlantic Sharpnose sharks are small when compared to others. The maximum length of these species is about 3.6 to 3.9 ft. They can be seen as far north as New Brunswick, to the southern Gulf of Mexico. The Atlantic Sharpnose sharks like to live in warm and shallow waters. And are often seen in waters less than 33 ft deep. 

  • Blacktip shark (Carcharhinus limbatus)

Blacktip sharks are seen mostly in subtropical waters. In the Atlantic, they are seen from Massachusetts to the Gulf of Mexico. Mostly they are seen in water below 98 ft deep. They are very robust and have a streamlined body with a pointed snout. This species can grow up to 9.2 ft in length, although 4.9 ft is very typical, and a weight of 271 lb.

How Many Sharks Are There In New Jersey?

Sharks In New Jersey
Sharks In New Jersey: Everything You Need To Know About Them

Spotting sharks off the coast of New Jersey, New Jersey has become very common. There has been a spike in the population of sharks in recent years and it is a positive signal of a healthy habitat and a purer ocean, said OCEARCH. 

Also, the well-balanced system has made the return of the huge sharks. Though the population of sharks has been increasing in new jersey coasts the exact population of these marine species is unavailable.

Also, Check Our Guide On Sharks In Myrtle Beach

What Is The Most Common Shark In Nj?

The most commonly found shark species in New Jersey are the smooth dogfish, sandbar shark, and sand tiger shark. They can often be seen near the shores as the resource-rich water provides stable and ample food like rays and fish.

Most Common shark species in New Jersey:

  1. Sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus)
  2. Smooth dogfish (Mustelus canis)
  3. Atlantic sharp nose shark (Rhizoprionodon terraenovae)
  4. Thresher shark (Alopias spp.)
  5. Brown smooth-hound (Mustelus henlei)
  6. Spinner shark (Carcharhinus brevipinna)
  7. Dusky shark (Carcharhinus obscurus)
  8. Shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus)
  9. Nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum)
  10. Bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas)

How Common Are Sharks In New Jersey?

Shark sightings occur every summer in New Jersey. OCEARCH — a nonprofit marine group, that has pinned sharks to monitor their movement said, in recent years, there have been increased reports of sharks moving near the beaches of New Jersey and this is normal every year. 

As we are the northern region migration of sharks moving from the southern habitat range moving up to their winter habitat range. Sharks often come near the shores when looking for food.

How Many Shark Attacks In New Jersey?

Shark attacks in New Jersey are very rare. The International Shark Attack File states that there were only 15 unprovoked shark attacks in New Jersey. The most recent being in 2006. The director of the Florida Program for Shark Research stated, “You are more likely to drown in the sea than you are to be attacked by a shark.” 

Earlier this year, a Chester County teen was attacked by a shark on her foot in Stone Harbor, New Jersey. The bite needed several stitches. The best guidance for swimmers and surfers is to understand the environment. You cannot just swim out in the ocean and not know what is happening. 


And that was everything you need to know about the Sharks in New Jersey. I hope this article answered all your queries.

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