When two great white sharks are spotted swimming off the shore of Cape Cod, that means summer is in full swing. You'd think this isn't a welcomed sight for vacationers, but in many cases it is. Cape Cod spotter pilot George Breen was on a routine survey when he spotted the great whites about a week ago and this weekend one swam just 100 yards from shore.
While one great white was about 1/2 of a mile from shore, the other one was only 50 feet from the beach last week, so when they get close enough to the shore, their protruding fin is visible from land. Both great whites swam in the same area of the Cape as they're both spotted off the beaches of Chatham, MA, according to Mass Live.com. You might think sharks would be a bad thing for the tourist business as vacationers come to soak up all that the beautiful beaches of the Cape offer. On the contrary, it seems the great white's are a draw and people are coming out to the beach to try to spot one.
Last week, Breen, who is with the Cape Cod Shark Hunters group, said one great white was about 16 feet long and chasing seals. He estimated this big shark, which was the one only 50 feet shore, was about 2,000 lbs. Breen embarks on these survey flights specifically to see if the great whites are back in the area.
The sharks get tagged with electronic finders and they're tracked to see if they come back to the same area each year. Sharks tagged last year returned to the area last week, according the Chatham harbor master. He said they were about 1/2 a mile off the shore from Chatham, according to the Boston Herald.
The Cape Cod Shark Hunters and Greg Skomal, the state shark biologist will tag sharks again this year. The team will be able to tag the sharks when the seas are calm and visibility is good. Weather is a key factor for the shark tagging expeditions.
When you hear about great white sharks, you probably think of the famous movie "Jaws," which made the great white shark a household word. The movie was one of the scariest water predator movies ever made. The movie had a bunch of sequels, but the damage occurred with the first and original "Jaws." People started to fear the water and many reported at the time the movie came out that it changed their swimming habits in the ocean. Today the mindset is a bit different as it's considered "cool" to swim with the sharks in some vacation spots.
Now that the tagging and the spotting of sharks is out-of-the-way, what does this mean for the beach goers and swimmers? The Cape Cod Shark Hunters have advisories for people getting in the water on their website. They're asking that the people in the water be aware of the surroundings and to use caution.