Shark Sightings on the Rise on Both Coasts

The NOAA says the white shark population has increased 42 percent since 1997.
1:42 | 07/05/14

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Transcript for Shark Sightings on the Rise on Both Coasts
And this is just the latest in a string of great white shark attacks and sightings on both coasts. If it seems like we've been seeing more and more of them, you are right. The great white population is by many accounts on the rise. Here's ABC's Mike Boettcher. Reporter: Spine-tingling images just last week of a great white shark. This time, off of cape cod, Massachusetts. A 12-footer dubbed ping by researchers stalking the waters off the poplar vacation destination. That is a huge white shark, dude. Reporter: Days earlier, tuna fishermen spotting another great white. This one, 18 feet, just a few miles away. Got the chum bag! Reporter: Watch this great white tear into the bait bag on the side of a boat off the coast of New Jersey last month. If it seems like you're seeing much more of this lately, you are. Since 1997, the white shark population has increased by an estimated 42%. The great white, which can reach 21 feet long and weigh 3 1/2 tons, also occurring in larger Numbers on the west coast, according to one study. This one spotted under paddleborders here in southern California. Scientists crediting the resurgence to a federal ban on hunting great whites. And conservationist efforts to change their image. And it's not just great whites. A shark swarm closed Alabama beaches last month. And a bull shark bite put a scare on bathers in Florida, the country's shark bite capital. The whole world needs sharks to keep our oceans healthy. Reporter: Great whites are typically found along coastlines than offshore. Beach-goers we spoke to here are keeping a wary eye out to sea, due to the more recent sightings.

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