Another Great White Caught Off Rockaway Beach
ROCKAWAY BEACH — It's Baby Jaws: Part 2.
Another baby great white shark was reeled in off the coast of Rockaway Beach Thursday — the third of the fearsome, but not fully grown, predators that were spotted in the waters off the city recently.
Last week, fisherman Steve Fernandez caught another 80-pound great white shark a mile off Rockaway Beach, which he tagged and released. That same day, he spotted a second shark that was about 10-feet long.
Bobby Jahrnes, 42, was out fishing about 5 miles off the beach with his family, including his father Bob, 70, when his 12-year-old son, Kai, felt a tug on the line.
The group, which was out hunting for thresher sharks on their boat, Prime Reel Estate, first thought they caught a blue shark.
But once he reeled it in, the Jahrnes' knew they'd picked up something else.
"When it got to the boat my father said — 'That's no blue shark,'" Jahrnes said.
His son was "ecstatic" about having reeled in the notorious shark, and Jahrnes said it was the first time his family had caught one in his lifetime of fishing.
The shark they caught was about 80 pounds and appeared to be in good health. They released it immediately.
Under state law, white sharks may be fished only using a rod and reel but they must be released.
A 1997 federal law banned the hunting of great white sharks, according to Reuters. The population of white sharks has since increased in the Atlantic Ocean due to conservation measures, according to Reuters.
A union carpenter, Jahrnes also runs shark and tuna fishing trips on his boat and believes the uptick in sharks, as well as whales and seals, may be attributed to cleaner waters around New York City.
"It's gotten really clean around us," he said. "There's a lot more bait, and it's why we're seeing a lot of whales and dolphins on shore."
His dad told him he's seen a "tremendous change in water cleanliness," and the Breezy Point natives have noticed a shift in the waters off their hometown.
"My father says he's never seen the water so clean," Jahrnes said.
The shark caught by the Jahrnes' did not have any tags or markings on it.