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Cape Shark Crew: Good News & Bad News; Great Whites Aren’t Biting

By Christina Hager, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Christina Hager Christina Hager
Award-winning reporter Christina Hager works as a general assignmen...
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CHATHAM (CBS) – The great white sharks are circling off Cape Cod, but they aren’t biting.

“It came right up close to the boat,” said Brett McBride, captain of the fishing vessel used to lure sharks to the mother ship Ocearch.

“It actually came and looked at two or three of our baits,” said McBride about the 14-footer that swam by Thursday morning without biting.

Researchers say it may be a lesson in the feeding habits of great whites in our region.

So far this week, the Ocearch crew has spotted four sharks that would not bite, all during midday hours. Scientists say they may not be hungry.

“We talk a lot about these low-light periods of time not to go swimming because it’s a time when sharks feed. We want to just make sure that is the case,” said Dr. Greg Skomal, the leading shark expert for the state of Massachusetts.

That information could be very useful to swimmers.

“If sharks are particularly interested in feeding say, first thing in the morning or last thing at night, that would actually be pretty useful information to pass onto people in terms of when is a smart time to be swimming,” said researcher Simon Thorrold, with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

The Ocearch crew hopes the animals will bite the bait soon, so they can bring a shark on board long enough to attach tracking tags and collect samples for research. They plan to stay near Cape Cod through the end of August.

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