5 Facts For Shark Week in Maryland

Eva Niessner

5 Facts For Shark Week in Maryland

If you're watching TV, you probably know that right now is Shark Week! Of course, most of these shows are focusing on more famously shark-rich areas, like Australia, New England, and the Gulf of Mexico. But that doesn't mean there aren't sharks to see and learn more about right in your own backyard! Don't be scared. For example, did you know...


1. Shark attacks in Maryland are incredibly rare

In fact, shark attacks in general, worldwide, are pretty rare. In 2021, a 12-year-old girl in Ocean City became the first person who was not actively fishing in the vacation town to be bitten by one, and though she received stitches at the hospital, the injury was not life-threatening. 


2. But if you do want to lower your risk, follow this advice

Sharks tend to prefer swimming at dawn and dusk, so stick to sunny hours when you're swimming in the ocean. Don't swim alone, and leave your jewelry or other shiny things on the shore -- they may attract a curious shark. 


3. It's legal to fish for sharks in Maryland

Just be sure to follow the state's rules. If you're a recreational fisherman, you'll need to report your catch (unless you've caught a pint-size spiny dogfish). You can learn more about the state's regulations for going after local sharks here


4. Many sharks call Maryland home

The coast of Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay aren't just popular spots for humans to visit and live. Sharks feel the same way! Little dogfish, sandbar sharks, and sand tiger sharks are common, and bull sharks aren't strangers to the bay either. However, their presence is a good sign -- it means there's an ecosystem that can support them in place. 


5. Want to see sharks up close?

You can visit a variety of other sharks in Baltimore's National Aquarium! Shark Alley and Blacktip Reef feature sharks by the score, and it's a great place to see how they swim and what they look like without getting into any danger. It's also the perfect place to learn more about the roles sharks play in the environment.

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