Shark Week: 17 More Great White Sightings Off Cape Cod

There were two beach closures over the weekend due to shark sightings

Over the past week, there were 17 great white shark sightings off Cape Cod, including seven over the weekend alone.

According to the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy's Sharktivity app, sharks were spotted in Cape Cod Bay and off Truro, Eastham, Orleans, Chatham and Monomoy Island.

Nauset Beach in Orleans and Marconi Beach in Wellfleet were each closed for an hour over the weekend after sharks were spotted swimming near the shore.

The most recent sightings come just as the Discovery network kicks off its annual "Shark Week" programming. On Monday night, the network will turn its focus to Cape Cod's sharks, including an appearance by Greg Skomal of the Massachusetts Divisiion of Marine Fisheries.

Researchers on Cape Cod launched a new study last month focused on the hunting and feeding habits of the region's great white sharks following last year's two attacks on humans, including the state's first fatal one in more than 80 years. They hope the work contributes critical information to the ongoing debate over how to keep Cape beachgoers safe.

One Massachusetts citizens group is calling for eliminating federal protections on seals, which have been blamed for drawing an increased number of great white sharks to the region in recent years.

Barnstable County Commissioner Ron Beaty told the Boston Herald that the panel will consider a proposal this week to name August "Cape Cod Seal and Shark Public Awareness Month."

"You're getting some very assertive great white sharks out there," he said. "We need to be vigilant."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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