Thresher sharks made appearances this weekend off Absecon Island.

In Ventnor, two fishermen reeled in a small thresher during the International Surfing Day celebration Saturday at the pier. 

Marine biologist Michele Grimaldi, who was attending the event, rushed over with about five others to make sure the shark was released properly.

“It was like a once in a lifetime event here,” said Grimaldi, who lives in Hawaii but is originally from New Jersey. “The important thing is if you see something, call the police, so they can call the right team — the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, whatever government agencies are down here — to get animals and mammals back in the water because they need the water in order to breathe.”

Thresher sharks use their long tail fin to swim and for herding and trapping schooling fish. They strike the fish with the tail, stunning multiple fish at a time, according to the Smithsonian Institution.

"Even though it is an expert hunter, the thresher shark is shy and harmless to humans and is unlikely to attack them," Smithsonian says on its web site.

Meanwhile, in Atlantic City on Saturday morning, Ken Kaufman and Al White were fishing 10 miles off the coast when they felt a tug on their line.

Two-and-a-half hours later, the men reeled in a large thresher shark.

Grimaldi reported that sharks have seen a resurgence in numbers along the Atlantic coast.

Staff Writer Claire Lowe contributed to this report.

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Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

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