SHARK SEASON IS OFFICIAL: 4th of July warning as 3 great white sharks spotted in one day off Cape Cod
Three great white sharks were seen off Cape Cod as researchers get ready to launch a new study which will focus on the hunting and feeding habits of the great white
It is officially shark season and as of now, three great white sharks were spotted in one day around the coast of Cape Cod on Monday, June 24, afternoon. Two of the great whites were seen in the Cape Cod Bay as reported by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy's Sharktivity app.
A third shark was seen by the Chatham harbormaster on June 24 morning. According to Cape Cod Chronicle, the shark was reportedly seen feeding on a seal near Monomoy Island and was around 13 ft long. Researchers on Cape Cod are planning to launch a new study which will observe and focus on the hunting and feeding habits of the great white sharks after two attacks took place on humans last year, including the state's first fatal one in more than 80 years.
State marine biologist Greg Skomal, who has been studying the area's great white sharks for years and leads the new study, shared that the new study aims to contribute critical information to the debate over how to keep Cape beachgoers safe. As reported by Daily Mail, he said, "If we can figure out how, where and when these sharks are attacking seals, we may be able to see if there is a pattern or any predictability to it. That's really useful information for someone trying to manage their beach and enhance public safety."
"If there are hot spots that can be identified, we certainly want to share that information with the public," he continued. Cape Cod officials have been struggling to figure out how to respond to public concerns after last year's attacks. Local officials have been focusing on ways to try and improve emergency response at area beaches and have also installed emergency call boxes and first aid kits which contain tourniquets and other medical items.
Lifeguards have also been taught to spot sharks and respond to shark attacks while many towns have decided to invest in better communications systems, ATVs and other equipment for emergency responders. The new research project looks at placing specialized tags on the dorsal fins of sharks and has been started by the state Division of Marine Fisheries and the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy. The ADLs or Acceleration Data Loggers will allow researchers to be able to monitor a shark's movement in much more detail than before.
"We're going from tracking day-to-day and seasonal movements to minute-to-minute, even second-to-second, fine-scale movements," Skomal shared. He hopes that the new data will be able to shed light on how many seals the region's great whites are eating and whether it has an impact on the seal population.
Some residents and local fisherman have blamed the region's growing seal population for drawing in the sharks. A scientist with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, Megan Winton said, "A lot of the reports we get from fishermen seem to suggest they're smaller white sharks."