Topics: Sharks

ORLEANS — The return of summer visitors – both people and white sharks – is only a few months away, and local researchers and public safety officials are thinking about a potential surge in shark ecotourism this season. A number of local businesses are already operating boat excursions for shark-watching and cage diving, and others are advertising plans to do so. Meeting in Orleans last week, members of the ...

White Shark Population Study Enters Final Year

By: Alan Pollock

ORLEANS — Though researchers don’t have firm numbers from 2017, it’s becoming clear that the number of individual white sharks off Cape Cod is substantial. Scientists are preparing to start the final year of the five-year population study this summer. “There’s going to be a lot of sharks once this is all said and done,” shark researcher John Chisholm said. Chisholm is painstakingly reviewing thousands of und...

CHATHAM – Sharks in the Park will be back this summer – for perhaps the last time – but they won't be in the park. Rather, the exhibit of colorfully-decorated cut-outs of the predators of the deep, the town's most high-profile summer visitors, will be staged on the lawn of the Eldredge Public Library. Call it Sharks at the Library. The colorful, whimsically decorated five-foot sharks attract thousands of vi...

CHATHAM — The president of the United States doesn’t like sharks. As it turns out, that’s working out nicely for the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy. The nonprofit group has received a surprise surge in donations from Trump critics who are apparently seeking to make a political statement while also supporting white shark conservation and education. In 2013, Trump received a Twitter message challenging hi...

CHATHAM – While it's clear that the sharks that patrol the waters along the Cape's shore are here to stay – seasonally, at least – the sharks that visit Kate Gould Park every summer will not return after one more season. The popular Sharks in the Park art display, sponsored by the Chatham Merchants Association, will be held for the last time next May. In 2019 and beyond, the exhibit will continue, but instead ...

Skomal: Chasing White Sharks 'Never Gets Old'

By: Kat Szmit

CHATHAM – The white shark swimming just off the shore of Nauset Beach was angry, but not at the 24-foot boat nearby. That wasn't the problem. The problem was an annoying bluefish that wouldn't stop harassing the shark. While the shark was peeved, those on board the Aleutian Dream marveled at the scene, including longtime shark researcher Greg Skomal. “It never gets old,” he said with a grin.     The...

When white sharks are off the coast of Cape Cod, it's clear that they're here for a single purpose: hunting seals. But tracking data shows that white sharks spend the off-season far out in the Atlantic, often in the dark depths far beyond the edge of the continental shelf. A journal article co-authored by state shark biologist Greg Skomal published Friday considers what they might be doing out there. Analyzi...

CHATHAM — It's a proposal that is raising a number of questions and a few eyebrows, but a Florida-based firm is proposing a 40-mile-long network of 15 balloon-mounted cameras to watch for sharks near bathing beaches between Provincetown and Chatham.  The concept floated by officials at Altametry involves deploying balloons on beach days at Harding's Beach in Chatham, two at Lighthouse Beach, one at the north...

ORLEANS — Sharks are becoming a fact of life in the waters off Cape Cod, and the town needs to alter its beach rescue operations. “The regularity of white sharks being in the vicinity of the beach justifies a new approach to ocean rescue,” Natural Resources Director Nate Sears told selectmen Aug. 23. “I no longer feel comfortable sending lifeguards a considerable distance offshore to rescue persons in distre...

CHATHAM – Beaches along Chatham Harbor were closed last Thursday afternoon after a fishermen saw a great white shark bite a seal in half off Andrew Harding's Lane Beach. Peter O'Neill was coming in through the 1987 inlet at about 3 p.m. after a day of fishing when he spotted a “giant pool of blood with the head of seal poking out” in the channel about 150 yards off the beach. The seal had already been bitte...

CHATHAM — Visitors to Nauset Beach and two other area beaches last week observed something new in the sky, and it wasn't an aerial banner advertising beer or car insurance. It was a balloon, holding a high-tech camera designed to spot sharks. Representatives of the Florida-based firm Altametry were on the Lower Cape last week testing equipment that they hope could be part of a future system for detecting white...

Another Shark Poached From 'Sharks In The Park'

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Yet another shark sculpture from the Chatham Merchants' Association's “Sharks in the Park” display has reportedly been pilfered. The association reported Sunday that the sculpture, painted by artist Tilda Bystrom and sponsored by Pine Acres Realty, was stolen at around 11:15 Saturday night. A reward is being offered for tips that lead to the return of the shark, and the association reports that there...

CHATHAM – A number of white sharks cruising around Cape waters are sporting not just one but two tags, which is expected to add significantly to the body of knowledge about the area's most notorious summer visitors. Along with acoustic tags that record a shark's movement when it passes by receivers deployed in waters throughout the region, Dr. Greg Skomal of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries has b...

Shark Season Continues With More Taggings

By: Cape Cod Chronicle

It's been a big week for sharks. At least nine shark sightings were reported, including two eight- to 10-foot sharks seen a half mile off Campground Beach in Eastham on July 9 and one just south of Race Point Beach in Provincetown on July 10. Several shark alerts were posted on the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy's Sharktivity smartphone app for sharks sighted off Truro and Orleans. Dr. Greg Skomal and his...

CHATHAM – The shark spotting season is off and running, with researchers putting eyeballs on three great white sharks last Thursday. Of the six research voyages as of Monday, sharks have been seen on five of the days. Also, seven previously tagged white sharks have been detected on acoustic receivers in Chatham and Orleans waters. Shark scientists say this is typical of the previous three years they've cond...

You might remember the dramatic rescue in July 2015 of a juvenile great white shark that beached himself on South Beach. Jamison, as the shark was later named, had jumped out of the water to catch a bird and landed on a sandbar. Unable to extricate himself, he eventually washed onto the shore on his back. Beachgoers kept him alive until he could be towed out to sea again by the harbormaster and shark scientist...