In first shark sighting of the season, great white devours seal off coast of Cape Cod

The New England Aquarium is urging the public to report shark sightings on the Sharktivity app to help keep boaters and swimmers safe.

A group of whale watchers in Cape Cod were stunned Saturday morning by the sight of a 12-foot great white shark attacking a seal.

Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch, a whale watching boating company, took a video of the predation, which they said lasted about seven minutes and took place off the coast of Provincetown at Stellwagen Bank.

In the video, you can see the shark’s fins coming out of the water as it swims around before it comes up from below to bite a chunk of the dead seal’s body. Blood can be seen in the water.

The New England Aquarium confirmed that this was the first great white shark sighting this season in a news release Monday. White sharks come to the Massachusetts coast in the spring to hunt seals and stay until winter, it said.


“While we have a healthy population of great whites and seals on Cape Cod, predation events like this are not often sighted,” Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch said in an Instagram post. “This is the first time our crew has seen a predation in all of our collective years on the water!”

Remember to report shark sightings

As Memorial Day approaches and New Englanders come to Cape Cod to enjoy the summer weather, the New England Aquarium is urging the public to report shark sightings to help keep boaters and swimmers safe.

More on local animals

“Though white shark bites on humans are rare, this sighting serves as a reminder to beachgoers and boaters to be mindful of the presence of these ocean animals,” New England Aquarium scientist John Chisholm said in the release.

The New England Aquarium recommends reporting and keeping track of shark sightings through the Sharktivity app.

The app, which is run by the aquarium and the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, provides real-time shark sighting alerts that have, in the past, shut down beaches. It also allows users to report shark sightings, which are then reviewed and potentially confirmed by scientists.

“It’s important to be aware of sharks’ presence in shallow waters, to avoid areas where seals are present or schools of fish are visible, and to stay close to shore where rescuers can reach you if needed,” Chisholm said.


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com