Three more great white shark sightings were reported off the coast of Chatham Wednesday, officials said today.
The sharks were anywhere from 10 to 16 feet long, said Billy Chaprales, a commercial lobsterman who sometimes works with the Division of Marine Fisheries tagging sharks.
The sharks were spotted from a plane operated by Norman St. Pierre, a tuna spotter, said Chaprales. They were about 100 feet from the shore, he said.
“[The sharks] come in from deep water, patrol the beach and go back. It’s hard to know where they are,” said Chaprales.
The sightings came a day after state scientists spotted and tagged a great white shark 100 yards off of the town's South Beach.
Two other great whites were spotted earlier in the month, one near Chatham and the other near Gloucester. One was tagged at a shark tournament off of Martha’s Vineyard on Friday, bringing the total number of sightings so far to seven, said Catherine Williams, a spokeswoman for the Division of Marine Fisheries.
She said it wasn't clear if there were seven different sharks lurking off the coast or some of them had been spotted more than once.
Chatham Harbormaster Stuart Smith has warned swimmers to be cautious and stay away from seals, the shark's favorite food. He said this morning that he does not plan to issue any further warnings, because the public has already been notified about the shark sightings.
“[We’re] interested if they come into the harbor,” he said. In that case, he said, they would start closing beaches.
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