Great white shark spotted Sunday off beach in Chatham

Cape Cod Shark Hunters posted this photograph of a great white shark spotted swimming off a Chatham beach on Sunday.
Cape Cod Shark Hunters posted this photograph of a great white shark spotted swimming off a Chatham beach on Sunday. Credit: George Breen/Cape Cod Shark Hunters

A 15-foot great white shark was spotted stalking seals within 100 feet of a beach in Chatham on Sunday, officials said.

The shark was spotted around 3 p.m., and traveled a mile along the beach stalking seals, said George Breen, a pilot for the Cape Cod Shark Hunters who first saw the shark. The sighting occurred a few miles away from the Chatham inlet.

“The shark was a stone’s throw away from the beach,” Breen said. “It was still stalking seals when I left after an hour.”

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The sighting, which occurred at a quiet, unpopulated beach, did not prompt any beach closings, said Dan Tobin, director of the Chatham parks and recreation department.

“There are no closures in Chatham at this time,” Tobin said. “But we are aware that sharks are in the area.”

Breen said he has flown over Chatham three times this year, but Sunday’s flight prompted the first shark sighting of the year.

Tobin said the sighting was the first recorded of the year by the parks department, although three tagged sharks were detected in the same area last week.

As summer continues and seals proliferate throughout the Cape, more shark sightings are likely, Breen said. August is considered the biggest month for spotting sharks.

“Once the seals are in the zip code, the sharks come out,” Breen said.

The Cape Cod Shark Hunters and a television crew from the PBS show “Nova” will venture out on Tuesday in hopes of tagging more sharks on the Cape, Breen said.

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