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Shark sightings on Massachusetts coast a sign summer is approaching



According to the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, great white sharks have returned to Cape Cod for the 2024 season, scientists have confirmed. Massachusetts shark biologist John Chisholm reported seeing two white sharks off Monomoy Island.

“The return of white sharks is a sure sign of summer’s approach on Cape Cod. Citizen scientists play a crucial role in the Conservancy’s mission to educate the community and improve public safety, and we rely upon and value their sighting data reported through our Sharktivity app,” said Cynthia Wigren, President and Co-Founder of AWSC.

AWSC’s Sharktivity app provides information and push notifications for alerts regarding white shark sightings, detections and movements to raise awareness and foster healthy co-existence between people and white sharks. The app sightings are input by researchers, safety officials and users that upload photos for confirmation. Public sightings submitted through the app are verified through a partnership with the New England Aquarium. By enabling app users to report shark sightings and upload photos, the Conservancy is effectively crowd-sourcing critical data points on where sharks are spotted to minimize encounters and promote safety. Data from sharks with acoustic tags and Smart Position and Temperature Tags (SPOT) are also available on the app.

The AWSC, in collaboration with the MA Division of Marine Fisheries, will be deploying five real-time shark detection receivers in the coming weeks off Head of the Meadow, Newcomb Hollow, LeCount Hollow, Nauset, and North Beach Island, part of a network of detector buoys along the East Coast. Sharktivity users can access the real-time detection information of tagged white sharks on the app.

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