While reports circulated on Monday of more shark sightings at New York’s Rockaway Beach, park officials have not closed it for swimming since July.
According to New 12 New Jersey, the New York Parks Department said it would continue to monitor the waters.
The Parks Department told Fox News Digital that the sharks were observed before beaches opened to swimming at 8:45 a.m. ET and that NYPD Aviation reported no sightings during a second flyover nearly two hours later.
“We never want to close our beaches, but the safety of our swimmers is our top priority,” it said in an emailed statement. “Thankfully, on Monday we were able to open Rockaway Beach to swimming soon after 10:00 a.m.”
“We close the water to swimming based on our onsite observations of the current conditions – shark size, their proximity to shore and the amount of swimmers in the water all inform our decision for localized or full beach closures,” the department said.
Multiple people have been bitten by sharks at Long Island beaches this summer.
None of the shark attacks have been fatal.
“We understand there may be residual fear, but the presence of sharks in the ocean is the result of successful long-term conservation efforts and a sign of a healthy environment,” the Parks department tweeted in July. “Sharks are generally uninterested in humans, and shark attacks remain extremely rare.”
This comes following an order by Gov. Kathy Hochul to increase patrols and surveillance of shark activity along beaches.
“As New Yorkers and visitors alike head to our beautiful Long Island beaches to enjoy the summer, our top priority is their safety,” Hochul said. “We are taking action to expand patrols for sharks and protect beachgoers from potentially dangerous situations. I encourage all New Yorkers to listen to local authorities and take precautions to help ensure safe and responsible beach trips this summer.”
According to the Florida Museum of Natural History and the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File (ISAF), only 12 unprovoked bites had been recorded in New York’s history prior to this year, none of which were fatal.
There is a nursery for sand tiger sharks located off Fire Island, New York.
Conservation efforts have led to a rebound in shark populations, as well as an increase in the seal population in New England waters.
The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy’s Sharktivity app has reported four confirmed white shark sightings and four detections in Cape Cod waters in the past two days.
Scientists also cite warming ocean temperatures and a resurgence of bunker fish for the increase in sightings.
The risk of shark attacks remains very low.