A GREAT white shark alert has been issued ahead of the Fourth of July weekend after experts warned of a mass migration of the predators.
Atlantic White Shark Conservancy scientist Megan Winton addressed the issue during a news conference in Chatham, Massachusetts, on Wednesday.
Winton warned that Cape Cod's warm waters in July attract great white sharks to the coast.
Sightings of the predators peak from August through October, the scientist explains, as per The Associated Press.
"Just know that large sharks are here," Winton said. "They’re a constant presence from June to the fall."
State marine biologist Greg Skomal, who has been studying great whites for decades, said the sharks are usually concentrated on the Atlantic Ocean-facing side of Cape Cod.
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Sharks are drawn to this area to feast on the thriving seal population, Skomal said.
He warns anyone visiting the coast to be very careful when swimming off beaches where the shoreline quickly drops off into deeper waters.
“Sharks will come close to the shore when they have water depth,” Skomal adds.
Since 2009, more than 280 great whites have been tagged off Cape Cod, and most of those tags are still active and sending information about their movements to scientists.
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Winton said: "All the research we’re doing is to learn more about white sharks and how they’re using nearshore waters off the coast, so that we can provide that information to the towns, to the beach managers, so they can use that to enhance their public safety messaging."
In regards to the Cape being a popular spot for sharks and seals, Winton calls it a "conservation success story."
However, she also notes that the area "is an important place for people to recreate, so it is important to find ways to coexist.”
Skomal said he's noticed beachgoers are staying closer to the shore when they swim since two recent shark attacks.
Just this week, the Head of the Meadow Beach in Truro, a town in The Codfish State, was forced to temporarily close due to a great white sighting.
Meadow Beach was closed for an hour on Tuesday as patrons patiently awaited the great white to move away from shore in the tenth such sighting in only a week.
The Sharktivity app has reported ten great white shark sightings in the past week alone off the coast of the Cape.
According to NBC Boston, there have been over 20 shark sightings off the coast of Massachusetts in the past month.
Although shark sightings have been frequent, sharks rarely attack people.
The last deadly shark attack in New England was in July of 2020 off the coast of Maine.
Patrons are advised to look for purple flags while setting up on the shore, as they indicate a high potential of shark-infested waters.
The beach has since re-opened and welcomes swimmers, however, visitors should remain cautious since shark season is officially upon us.
It comes after a horror shark attack on the US west coast where a swimmer was savaged by what scientists say was the "world's biggest ever shark."
Steve Bruemmer, 62, lost 30 pints of blood after the ocean giant chomped his stomach, leg, and arm in one massive bite.
Steve was hauled 100 yards to shore by a surf instructor and two paddleboarders as blood spurted from his wounds.
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Amazingly he is expected to make a good recovery after the horror mauling at Lover's Point Beach in Monterey.
The shark was confirmed as a great white by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife based on a forensic examination of Steve's bite marks.
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