Special Edition: Saltwater Fishing & Boating

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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Special Edition: Saltwater Fishing & Boating

Celebrate Shark Week with DEC! 

Hammerhead shark

Did you know that sharks play an important role in keeping our ocean healthy by regulating and maintaining the balance of intricate marine ecosystems? Sharks remove sick and weak individuals from prey populations, they influence prey distribution and behavior, and prevent other species from monopolizing limited resources and degrading the marine environment. The presence of sharks is a positive sign of a healthy marine ecosystem.

Learn about the most common shark species that are found in NY's waters

Photo of a hammerhead shark

Be Shark Smart! 

DEC provides guidelines to help you stay safe while enjoying the ocean: 

  • Avoid areas with schools of fish, splashing fish, diving seabirds, and seals;
  • Avoid swimming at dusk, night, and dawn; 
  • Avoid murky water;
  • Swim, paddle, and surf in groups;
  • Stay close to shore, where your feet can touch the bottom; and 
  • Always follow the instructions of lifeguards and Parks' staff.

Report Your Shark Sightings

We want you know about your shark observations. If you are fishing, boating, or enjoying the beach and observe a shark, please take some pictures, then report your sighting using the DEC Shark Spotter Survey.

Fin Identification

Knowing how to spot shark fins in the water can help you stay safe while having fun in the ocean. Shark fins have a straight trailing edge and glide at the surface while the fins of a dolphin are curved and bob up and down. Another fin you could encounter belongs to the sunfish which will appear to be flopping side to side. 

Fin Identification - shark, dolphin, sunfish

Check out aerial footage of sharks feeding on a "bunker pod" that was captured by NYS Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. 

Want to learn more about sharks, how to stay safe, and enter a Shark Week giveaway? Swim along with DEC on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!