ORLEANS (CBS) –  After several shark sightings last summer, officials are brainstorming ways to keep Massachusetts beaches open and safer in the future.

“There is a sense of urgency,” says Chatham Harbormaster Stuart Smith.

He was referring to a “shark summit,”  held on Cape Cod Wednesday involving dozens of state, local and federal officials.

They were trying to come up with a plan to avoid more beach closings next summer, because of sharks.

“We tagged four, then five, then seven, now 17 this past summer,” says state marine biologist Greg Skomal, ” and even though we can track their movements, the bottom line is, these animals are very unpredictable.”

Some people in the meeting asked about measures taken in other states, and in other countries.

” In some parts of Australia, they use nets to protect the swimming beaches,” said marine biologist John Chisolm, “but there’s a problem with by-catch – turtles and other animals.”

There were no plans finalized Wednesday, but an agreement to some up with one soon, that all towns can take part in.


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