Friday, August 19

Shark Season Heats Up Off Cape Cod

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It’s been a busy week or so for sharks off Cape Cod and even the nearby islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

Last Saturday, for example, nine great whites were spotted near just one buoy off North Beach Island; that’s located on the elbow of the Cape, near Chatham. The same day, the Nantucket harbormaster closed Ladies Beach for a few hours after a shark sighting there; authorities also closed the Miacomet and Cisco beaches on the island as well because of sharks.

And a lifeguard on Martha’s Vineyard ordered a beach closed there after he saw a shark. It’s unusual for sharks to be seen on that island, since they usually tend to stay closer to Cape Cod where seals migrate for the summer. Marine scientists report that sharks spend half their time there in water less than 50 feet deep.

Mid-summer through October is usually the peak shark season in the area, but this year there have been more shark sightings than ever. The movement of tagged great whites is tracked on the Sharktivity app, run by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy. (The picture above, showing a shark off Cape Cod this summer, is from Sharktivity.) It’s been so busy lately with Cape Cod sightings that one woman took to Twitter to report that her app was “going bonkers.”

The Chatham area has been particularly busy place for great whites, with sightings every day. One was spotted off the north inlet to the Chatham harbor; another, named Ken, was spotted later just 100 yards off Nauset Beach, a bit north.

Many sharks on Sharktivity have names. So far, Dylan, Fruit Loops, Warren Squidward, Snoop Dog, Mr. Spot Claw and Camden have been summering off the Cape. Read more:



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