Reporting Christina Hager
CHATHAM (CBS) – Now that the infamous bear has left Cape Cod, the area has some different wildlife to buzz about: Great White Sharks. State researchers have picked up on shark activity in the open ocean about a half mile from Chatham’s shoreline.
Electronic receivers planted in the water picked up audio signals from tags on two of seven sharks the state tagged in the same area last year.
“We can check them whenever we want. We basically haul them up, quickly download them, and we get an idea of where the sharks have been moving,” says John Chisholm, a shark researcher with the State Department of Marine Fisheries.
The recent activity was detected around Monomoy Island, where the growing seal population has been attracting great whites in recent years. Sharks are known to feed on the seals, and Chisholm says he saw shark bite markings on seals in the area Wednesday.
Their return has tourists crowding Lighthouse Beach for a view. “Very interesting, very exciting,” said Jacquie O’Toole, on vacation from Dallas. “I’m thinking I’m going to keep my feet right here on dry ground after this,” said Dale Baker, visiting from Colorado.
The sharks are not close enough for officials to close beaches or restrict swimming as they have in the past. “Use common sense,” advises Chisholm. “Don’t swim with the seals. That’s really all we can say. It’s their ocean.”