Shark activity near East Coast beaches on the rise

Shark sightings peak from August through October

Sharks have been active in East Coast waters during the course of the past week. 

Primarily in the area of Massachusetts' Nauset Beach, over the past two days, the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy's Sharktivity app has confirmed five white shark sightings and reported one unconfirmed sighting.

In total, there have been 12 confirmed and unconfirmed sightings over the course of the last week. 

One shark, known to researchers as "Mr. Spot Claw," was detected at the public beach.

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A shark is seen swimming across a sand bar on Aug. 13, 2021, from a shark watch with Dragonfly Sportfishing charters, off the Massachusetts' coast of Cape Cod. Megan Winton, of the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, said Wednesday, June 29, 2022, that July is when white sharks appear in earnest, with sightings peaking from August through October. 

A shark is seen swimming across a sand bar on Aug. 13, 2021, from a shark watch with Dragonfly Sportfishing charters, off the Massachusetts' coast of Cape Cod. Megan Winton, of the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, said Wednesday, June 29, 2022, that July is when white sharks appear in earnest, with sightings peaking from August through October.  (AP Photo/Phil Marcelo, File)

Farther down the coastline, a 6-foot-long shark bit a surfer at New Smyrna Beach in Florida on Sunday. 

According to FOX 35, the shark bit the surfer, who was visiting from Miami, on the foot. 

The station noted that a 28-year-old man from Daytona Beach was also bitten on his foot at the same beach last week.

Jupiter, Florida - May 05, 2022: A bull shark gets up close to inspect divers during an eco tourism shark dive off of Jupiter, Florida on May 5, 2022. 

Jupiter, Florida - May 05, 2022: A bull shark gets up close to inspect divers during an eco tourism shark dive off of Jupiter, Florida on May 5, 2022.  (Photo by Joseph Prezioso/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

In New York, there have been multiple shark attacks on lifeguards this month.

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While attacks are usually rare, more sharks are being spotted off Long Island. 

Scientists cite warming ocean temperatures and a resurgence of bunker fish for the shift in sightings. Experts say the increase in the number of sharks is a sign that conservation efforts have been successful. 

A man carries his surfboard after surfing in the Atlantic Ocean along the beach in Long Beach, New York, May 9, 2022. 

A man carries his surfboard after surfing in the Atlantic Ocean along the beach in Long Beach, New York, May 9, 2022.  (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

Shark advocates also call for rebranding violent attacks as "interactions." 

The U.S. recorded 47 unprovoked shark bites in 2021, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File.

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That marks a 42% increase from 33 incidents reported in 2020.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.