Massachusetts – After spotting two Great White Sharks off the Massachusetts coast on a research trip, Cape Cod authorities are prepared to protect the shore from unprovoked attacks. The sharks were identified by John Chisholm of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF).
The Chief Ranger of Cape Cod National Seashore, Leslie Reynolds said that a number of precautionary measures has been implemented over the past three years to raise shark safety awareness. The measures include sings with information about shark advisories and dangerous currents. This information is crucial since the constant sightings of the white creatures might be caused by huge colonies of seals they seek to hunt, thanks to the recovery of the local gray seal population done by the Marine Mammal Protection Act introduced in the early 1970s. John King a board member for the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, said the the return of the apex predator to the region is a sign of a healthy ecosystem.
“So our message to the public is: whether we see the sharks or not, whether the fin is breaking the surface or not, the sharks are in the water and they are coming closer and they are feeding on the seals,” Reynolds said. “One of our messages for them is to avoid swimming near seals. And then when they do swim in the water, to stay shallow enough that they can keep their feet on the ground.”
A team of the DMF, led by Greg Skomal, tagged and tracked 68 sharks off Chatham in six years of research, 21 of them in the summer of 2014. “I think the sharks down south are species that don’t even travel this far north,” Skomal said. “Having said that, the presence of white sharks off our coastline certainly can alarm folks, because white sharks have been implicated in unprovoked attacks. I would encourage people just to use common sense and be proactive in their thinking when they get into the water.”
Moreover, the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy shared the photos, in which you can see a research boat close to one of the two sharks, over the weekend. Cynthia Wigren president of the conservancy, said they spotted multiple sharks on Tuesday and footage of two of them is enough for scientists to identify them for further analysis.
Source: Atlantic White Shark Conservancy