Season's First Shark Tagged

By: Tim Wood

Topics: Sharks

Dr. Greg Skomal and his team follow a great white shark off Nauset Beach Friday. WAYNE DAVIS PHOTO COURTESY OF ATLANTIC WHITE SHARK CONSERVANCY/MASS DIVISION OF MARINE FISHERIES

Researchers tagged the first great white shark of the season today off Nauset Beach, and for the second time witnessed a shark eating a seal.

The approximately 12 foot shark was tagged by Dr. Greg Skomal of the state division of marine fisheries during the twice-weekly population study trips along the coast sponsored by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy.

This 12-foot shark was photographed Friday by spotter pilot Wayne Davis as it attacked a gray seal. WAYNE DAVIS PHOTO/COURTESY ATLANTIC WHITE SHARK CONSERVANCY/MASS. DIVISION OF MARINE FISHERIES

This 12-foot shark was photographed Friday by spotter pilot Wayne Davis as it attacked a gray seal. WAYNE DAVIS PHOTO/COURTESY ATLANTIC WHITE SHARK CONSERVANCY/MASS. DIVISION OF MARINE FISHERIES

It was the second time this week that researchers had seen a great white shark; the first of the season was spotted Monday, an 11-foot animal seen off Monomoy.  That was also the first time this season that the scientist saw a shark preying on a gray seal, an event they only witnessed twice all last summer.  Earlier this week several videos were also posted online of a shark attacking a seal just off a beach in Provincetown.

Skomal named the shark seen Friday off the southern end of Nauset Beach Luke after a fisherman friend who recently passed away, according to the Conservancy's Facebook posting.

The shark population study, now in its third year, has identified more than 140 individual sharks; researchers have tagged more than 70 sharks with a variety different types of tags over the past six years.

ALSO FROM THIS WEEK'S PAPER: THEY'RE HERE: RESEARCHERS SEE SEASON'S FIRST GREAT WHITE SHARK