The summer season is well under way here on Cape Cod and that means lots of visitors. Most are human, here to enjoy our beaches, attractions and seafood. But over the past several years, visitors from the ocean's depths have found that they too enjoy the waters of the Cape and the seafood--specifically seals.
Great white shark spottings are up and researchers from the state Marine Fisheries Division have been tagging and tracking these giant and potentially dangerous visitors.
The Cape Cod Shark Hunters aboard the Ezyduzit have been tracking and tagging sharks off Chatham and Monomoy--a favorite spot for seals for the past few summers. The Ezyduzit team works closely with the Marine Fisheries researchers including shark expert Dr. Greg Skomal and aerial spotters to locate and tag sharks along the shores.
The crew of the Ezyduzit reported a shark sighting on Sunday off of Chatham. Aerial photos taken by George Breen are available on the Cape Cod Shark Hunters website here. According to the crew, they hope to locate and tag the shark this week.
Great whites are drawn to the shores of Cape Cod by the over abundance of seals--a favorite food of hungry sharks.
State and town officials have put measures in place to keep beach goers save in the event of a shark sighting off one of the local ocean beaches.
The first great white of the season--a 13' female who was first tagged in 2011, was spotted off Monomoy in early June. News of shark sightings has been quiet until this most reason sighting off Chatham.
One of the key causes for the increase in great white activity off Cape is the explosion in the population of seals. Seals are a favorite food of sharks and are abundant in numbers here along the Cape's waters. In addition to researching and tagging sharks, efforts began in June to study and tag seals as well.
Through research, tagging and beach closure plans, officials are hoping to avoid an attack this season. On July 31, 2012, a man body surfing off Ballston Beach in Truro was bitten by a shark.