Shark Season Begins in Mass. as 1st Sighting Is Caught on Video

The New England Aquarium called the sighting the first of a white shark of the season

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It appears to be shark season again on Cape Cod, and just in time for Memorial Day weekend.

A whale-watching cruise out of Provincetown spotted a shark eating a seal in the Atlantic about 30 miles from Boston Harbor on Sunday, the boating group said.



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Experts are calling it the area's first sighting of the year, and reminding the public that it's time to keep an eye out for sharks.

The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, which tracks shark sightings off Massachusetts, shared the video and wrote, "As we get closer to the summer season, it is important to note that white sharks are making their way back to the Cape Cod coastline," adding that people should be "shark smart."

According to research from the 2022 shark season that was released in March, there were 55 new individual Atlantic White Sharks tracked, and 63 returning sharks logged.

The New England Aquarium called it the first white shark sighting of the season.

"Though white shark bites on humans are rare, the sighting serves as a reminder to beachgoers and boaters to be mindful of the presence of these ocean animals," said John Chisholm, adjunct scientist in the New England Aquarium's Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life, in a statement Monday. "It's important to be aware of sharks' presence in shallow waters, to avoid areas where seals are present or schools of fish are visible, and to stay close to shore where rescuers can reach you if needed."

Among the National Park Service's recommendations for people on Cape Cod are staying close to shore, playing in the water in groups, avoiding being in the water near seals or schools of fish and limiting splashing. Read all their guidance here.

The shark was spotted by Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch Sunday on the Stellwagen Bank, a fishing ground north of Cape Cod and east of Boston, according to the whale watching group. They estimated that the shark was 12 feet long and shared their video with shark researchers.

The video, which is graphic, shows a shark feeding near the surface, at one point emerging near the boat to gobble down a segment of flesh.

"While we have a healthy population of of great whites and seals on Cape Cod, predation events like this are not often sighted. This is the first time our crew has seen a predation in all of our collective years on the water!" Dolphin Fleet Whale watch wrote.

The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy said they found 55 new great white sharks during the 2022 season.

White sharks — commonly known as great white sharks — return to Cape Cod in pursuit of the seal population. Seals are one of their main sources of food.

Sharks have become a common sight off Massachusetts and the rest of New England each year from mid-May into October. There have been few shark bites, but a person was killed off Wellfleet, Massachusetts, in 2018 and another off Bailey Island, Maine, in 2020.

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