The North Atlantic seems to be attracting an increasing number of great white sharks lately.
This is because in 1997 white sharks were granted federal protection and their numbers have greatly increased since then. In the video clip below, the 60 Minutes team goes out with Dr. Greg Skomal, chief shark scientist for the Massachusetts Department of Marine Fisheries, to tag sharks.
It wasn’t hard for them to locate an 11 foot white shark just feet off of a beach near Truro on Cape Cod. It was pointed out that a shark swimming that close to the beach would hardly be noticeable by beach goers.
White sharks are lingering closer in around the shoreline in anticipation of what’s considered their favorite meal, Grey Seals. Thousands of grey seals now call Cape Cod their home and so it is only logical that their main predator, the white shark, are being attracted to the area as well making Cape Cod now one of the world’s white shark “hot Spots”
Greg Skomal explains how their tagging efforts help track the movements of the Cape’s white shark population.
We can actually track the movements of our white sharks when they leave here.
The tags also help Skomal and his research colleague Megan Winton figure out just how many sharks there are, and have established that Cape Cod is now one of the world’s white shark “hot spots.” They regularly haul buoys out of the water and download data from them to a tablet that displays each time a tagged shark swims by.
This tells them a lot about individuals; they have confirmed that they’re loners, and that the same one will often come back to precisely the same hunting ground year after year. A white shark seemed to be hunting Greg Skomal in 2018 when it came up, jaws open, right under the pulpit.
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