Shark season has begun on the Cape. Here’s where they’ve been spotted.

Got shark tips? With more sightings popping up, make sure you know how to stay safe.

A great white shark between 12 and 14 feet long was seen near the Cape Cod National Seashore in Provincetown in July 2020. Atlantic White Shark Conservancy

It’s that time of year folks! Shark sightings are popping up around the Cape, so make sure you’re keeping an eye out.

On June 18, New England Aquarium Shark Biologist John Chisolm tweeted that “multiple sharks were spotted” on June 17 in Truro and near Chatham.

Chisholm posted on Facebook about the incredible encounter one of his spotter pilots witnessed — one of the “epic battles” often unseen.

“While searching for Bluefin tuna off the coast, he came across a large white shark just cruising on the surface,” Chisholm wrote. “A while later he spotted a tuna and as he was circling, he noticed the white shark approaching on a path that put it on a collision course with the fish. Once the shark became aware of the tuna, it made its move and attempted to catch it. However, bluefin tuna are powerful and fast, and the fish was able to avoid the assault. Using it’s superior speed, it was able to turn the tables on the shark and began pursuing it.”


The same day, the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy clocked tagged white shark James swimming off the coast of Chatham.

On June 20, John Chisholm tweeted about another sighting near the Head of the Meadow beach in Truro. 

According to the National Parks Service, the shark population has been increasing in the area because the seal population has increased after being hunted to near extinction, and seals are the main prey for white sharks. It is rare for sharks to bite humans, and since 2012 there have been three shark bites on the Cape, with one resulting in a fatality.

Since it’s summertime, here are some shark safety tips from the National Parks Service.

  • If you see a shark, report it on the Sharktivity app or call the rangers to report a non-emergency shark sighting.
  • Avoid areas where seals and schools of fish are present (sharks hunt for seals in shallow water)
  • Stay close to shore and in groups, and limit splashing.
  • Avoid murky or low-visibility water. 
  • Follow all beach signage and directions from life guards – a shark sighting will mean temporarily closing the beach to swimmers.


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