15-foot shark spotted near Cape Cod

CHATHAM, Mass., July 13 (UPI) -- Massachusetts officials in Cape Cod are asking beach visitors not to go too far from shore after a great white shark was seen in the area.

Authorities in the City of Chatham said the 15-foot shark was spotted hunting seals over the weekend, the Boston Globe reported.


The town posted a notice on its Web site saying more shark sightings are likely, and while it rarely happens, sharks can attack people.

"Use caution when swimming, and you shouldn't swim around seals," said assistant harbormaster Susan Rocanello, adding that no beaches have been ordered closed.

The sighting may signal only the start of aggressive sharks in the area, said Gregory Skomal, an aquatic biologist with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries.

"I've been a commercial fisher for over 40 years, and I only saw three until last year," said Bill Chaprales a fisherman who uses his tuna boat for marine research with the Division of Marine Fisheries, adding that last summer he tagged five great white sharks in two days.

"We think that the higher number of white shark sightings … may be related to the growing seal population in that area," said Skomal.


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