BOSTON (CBS) – The first great white shark of the year has been spotted off the coast of Cape Cod.
The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy spotted a 15 footer – a female – off South Beach in Orleans Monday, in 15-20 foot deep seas.
Dr. Greg Skomal of the Mass. Division of Marine Fisheries was working with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy when the shark was photographed.
“This is not unusual,” Dr. Skomal says. “We fully anticipate that the sharks would be here by now. We’re not seeing large numbers yet. I think the water temperatures are still quite cold.”
Experts believe she’s well into her 20s, but aren’t quite sure she’s a return visitor yet.
“We were able to get GoPro video of the shark which is what the scientists use to ID the shark and catalog the shark,” says Cynthia Wigren of the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy. They’ll analyze her markings this week.
Skomal says in 2014, 68 sharks were counted off the coast of Orleans and Chatham.
Experts will be using new technology to track the sharks this summer.
“Sharks are here to consume seals,” Dr. Skomal says. “Don’t swim in close proximity to seals. Don’t swim alone. Don’t swim great distances from shore.”