A Jaws redux? Not quite, but officials are monitoring some great white sharks that have been enjoying the waters off Cape Cod National Seashore.
According to the seashore's chief ranger, Bob Grant, "(T)he great white sharks that appeared off Cape Cod in past weeks and caused a flurry of media attention have not yet had any substantial impact on park operations."
"Shark experts from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries tagged two great white sharks in waters within the seashore on Tuesday, September 8th, bringing the total to five sharks tagged within the week. They then ran out of tags," reports Chief Grant. "The great white sharks were the first in the Atlantic Ocean with electronic satellite technology, according to the state biologists. Although observations have been reported over the years, multiple sightings over the last several weeks brought added attention to the area.
"The sharks have been primarily in waters at the southern end of the outer beach near Chatham. A state spotter pilot observed a great white within 50 feet of surfers just off North Beach near the Chatham Harbor channel and the barrier beach within the seashore," he adds. "Such observations have resulted in several town beaches being closed to swimming over the Labor Day weekend. A sighting near swimming beaches in Orleans, just north of Chatham, resulted in a brief closure. The sharks have come to the area due to the large number of gray seals in the local waters. Local officials have suggested surfers reconsider wearing the normal black wet suits, which make them resemble seals, and stay away from any concentration of seals. National seashore swimming areas have not been affected."
The sharks have actually helped tourism a bit, according to the Cape Cod Times.
Would-be shark gawkers circled the Lighthouse Beach overlook this morning like, well, so many sharks as they jockeyed for a coveted parking space. Buffeted by high winds, people in droves showed up again today in hopes of seeing great white sharks that were first spotted swimming and feeding in the area last week. The parking lot in front of the Chatham Lighthouse, which has a 30-minute parking limit, has been full for days.
You can find the rest of the story, and a short video, here: http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090910/NEWS/90...