A new study published July 27, 2023, that tracked great white sharks on the Cape now confirms that researchers are calling Cape Cod one of the main great white hotspots of the world. Activity was tracked for 3 years, from 2015 to 2018, and later assessed by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy.
The Marine Ecology Progress Series utilized a proprietary population study to analyze shark patterns, behaviors, and migrations over the 3 years. Other partners joined in on the research which was spearheaded by the team at the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy.
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science and Technology for example, also collaborated on the study. In progression, nearly 3,000 videos from 137 routes were identified. These findings confirmed at least 400 sharks, but the number could be double that-however there still is no sure way to tell.
The head of the Massachusetts shark research program, Greg Skomal, counseled that the number is fluid and there likely aren’t 800 great whites off the coast of Massachusetts at one time. He predicts so many white sharks come to the Cape due to its abundant seal population. He points this is a healthy sign for the marine ecosystem, but of course cautions beachgoers.
According to Skomal, even just 5 feet of water is still deep enough for a white shark to swim or hunt seals.
Nearly 300 sharks have been tagged off the coast of Cape Cod to further research and tracking.