Saturday, 2:15 PM
By Martin Finucane, Globe Staff
Yes, they do exist. A 6 1/2-foot-long shark that washed up on a beach in Nantucket yesterday is a young great white shark, according to a state shark expert.
A great white
It's a rare find for the experts. They haven't seen a great white carcass wash up on the beach in at least two decades, said Lisa Capone, a spokeswoman for the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
"It's an opportunity to try to learn something," she said.
A Division of Marine Fisheries expert was dispatched to the island this morning to check out the carcass, she said. State Marine Fisheries experts, along with scientists from the National Marine Fisheries Service, will dissect it tomorrow to determine the cause of death and collect other data, Capone said.
"It sort of confirms what I think our scientists have known. There are white sharks. They're not common, but they're not unheard-of," she said.
The discovery of the young female shark follows a possible sighting by lifeguards last week on Martha's Vineyard's South Beach. Another sighting reported at the Vineyard's State Beach turned out to be a hoax.
Capone said state experts were able to examine a great white shark caught in a gill net off Rhode Island last year.
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