When Will the Great White Sharks Return to the Cape? Here's What Scientists Say

Last year's shark numbers were at an all-time high, according to researchers

NBC Universal, Inc.

It's almost Memorial Day, the unofficial start of the summer season.

And yes, the sharks are already on their way.

This is just the natural trend we have to watch out for in the summers. Get out your beach chairs, your sunscreen and your Sharktivity app, because mid-May marks the return of great whites to the Cape.

Like snowbirds that travel north from the Gulf of Mexico, so do great whites.

Researchers with OCEARCH told the Boston Herald this usually happens around May 15 as the water temperature begins to warm past 50 degrees. They say a few great whites have already started this trek early, with one 9-footer named Simon already detected off Long Island.

“He’s early by a couple of weeks,” OCEARCH Chief Scientist Bob Hueter told the Herald, noting that there’s a lot of diversity and different personalities among white sharks. “It’s not like a herd of cows that move altogether. They sort of spread out. It’s fascinating.”

The Cape has become a hotspot for these animals in the summer. The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy detected 133 sharks last season, tagging 55 new ones, hitting an all-time high for the seventh straight year.

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

Scientists say there are several factors at play, including warmer waters, but mainly it is the food source. Since the federal Mammal Protection Act of 1972 that outlawed killing seals, the population has recovered off the coast and is now thriving. That means the sharks know exactly where to feed.

Scientists say sharks aren't looking to bother us, but the danger is if they don't know exactly what we are in the water they could do a test bit. And from one animal like a shark, that could be deadly for us humans.

Contact Us