• Sharks, on Cape Cod.

    by  • August 1, 2012 • General Chit Chat • 16 Comments

    It seems as though the Great White sharks are here to stay, happily chowing on seals like Happy Meals. The Cape’s most recent adventure with a Great White involved a person getting nibbled on by a shark. Call me lame, but I am not yet brave enough to go swimming in our ocean full of sharks. Sharks on Cape Cod- nope not for me.

    Be it no surprise that I am your typical year round Cape Cod beach bum, but this year has been a lot different.

    Dear Beach, I miss thee.

    I admit that maybe, quite possibly, I am being a huge wimp about this whole shark thing.  My main concern however, are my children’s safety at the beach.  I know there are beaches I can take my kids to that aren’t infested with seals and seal chowing Great White sharks-but there is always this overbearing motherly anxiety nagging at me with “what ifs”.

    I know this anxiety about the sharks on Cape Cod is just the mother in me. I know there is nothing that can be done to deter the sharks from staying. I know this is a situation I need to adapt to as a year round resident. I know I will come to terms with these pesky little sharks soon enough. Until then, I’m still not going swimming in the ocean.

    Do you live on Cape Cod? How do you feel about the whole Great White Shark thing? How are you adapting to it? I’d love to hear your comments! Until then, have a great day……{{{theme song to Jaws starts playing}}}.

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    16 Responses to Sharks, on Cape Cod.

    1. August 1, 2012 at 9:44 am

      Sharks def are here and have been and will be always. The past years they have become more frequent visitors as teh seal population as moved south during the summer months enticing the meat eaters. I’ve noticed the media and scientist communty has tried to downplay sharks this summer… I wonder to myself if it is because of not wanting the summer economy to plummet because of moms like us not wanting to go to the beach with our kids. I still believe that the shark from the front page of the paper was actually a great white as opposed to a basking shark. There are also all the other underreported sightings going on all over the Cape including the 17+ foot shark by Naushon recently. I’m with you and I am constantly vigilent. I try to stick to beaches where I can see clearly through the water at all times :)

      • Ashley B.
        August 1, 2012 at 9:55 am

        Amy, I have to agree with you when you say that the media and science community are downplaying the presence of Great White sharks this year. It seemed that there was more hype about the sharks last summer, and there is less this summer even after a human was attacked by a Great White. I heard through the grapevine that the new TV show “Shark Wranglers” has chosen Cape Cod as its next shooting location, so that speaks words to the shark epidemic we are currently experiencing here on the Cape. I know the presence of Great Whites is not something we can eradicate. I just hope that the media and science community start taking this whole shark bit a lot more seriously from this point forward.

    2. Kathy
      August 1, 2012 at 10:31 am

      Come to Mayflower Beach in Dennis at low tide. It’s gorgeous, and it’s way too shallow for those nasty sharks!

    3. Kathy
      August 1, 2012 at 10:33 am

      Hi, Ashley–

      I read that the Shark Wranglers are going to the Vineyard, not the Cape.

      • Ashley B.
        August 1, 2012 at 12:33 pm

        Ahh the Vineyard! Thank you for the clarification :) Information is always “up in the air” when through the grapevine. Thanks again!

    4. August 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm

      We don’t have sharks at Sandy Neck! I’m not particularly worried about them, isn’t that weird. I guess I have to “see it to believe it”?

      • Ashley B.
        August 1, 2012 at 1:45 pm

        We still haven’t gotten up to Sandy Neck :(

    5. August 1, 2012 at 4:07 pm

      Warning: Geeky rant

      Well, I’m not concerned at all and I do take my kid to the beach here on the Cape.

      As a member of ocean sciences community, I can say that they hype is down played for two reasons
      1) The risk is in fact very very very very very small. Just the facts Ma’am! Last year, which was an unusually high year, there were 29 attacks, of which 11 were in FL. That leaves 18 attacks for all of the western and eastern seaboard (and CA has some big ones!). There were ZERO US shark fatalities in 2011 (and only 12 world wide). Now compare those odds of getting into car crash or drowning. For example, from 2005-2009, there were an average of 3,533 fatal unintentional drownings per year on the US alone (most of which were children under 4). . . see my point?
      2) Sharks are delicate animals who need to be left alone. With idiots trying to attract sharks by chumming the waters, the more likely accidents happen to the sharks (and to much lesser extent, humans).
      3) Finally, yes, that photo with the kayaker? Yes, that was a basking shark– Woods Hole is filled with ichthyologists and the paper couldn’t be bothered to check that? Sloppy, fear mongering journalism– the only thing in danger there was plankton!

      PS Not all big sharks are Great Whites– most are harmless. Please be nice to these amazing creatures!

      • Ashley B.
        August 2, 2012 at 9:05 am

        It is nice to see an opinion with breakdowns, thank you :) I still feel strongly that the science community could and should help more with the shark situation primarily because if there is not enough attention brought to the possibility of encountering a shark, people will still be wanton with their safety while swimming (such as what I believe happened with the guy who was bitten by the shark a couple days ago.) Beach goers are informed to not swim within 300 feet from a seal, but I don’t think swimmers are constantly looking for seals in the areas they are swimming in. I think clear concise directives, and possibly some rules should be implemented at beaches with shark sightings until a better plan can be made.

    6. August 4, 2012 at 9:27 am

      Here Fishy Fishy! The tourists taste like Piping Plovers! – Just kidding ;)

      I was surfing with my then 8-year-old in Florida when a man that was surfcasting told us we might want to wait before we paddled out again for our next wave. I was like, “Whatever, buddy, but okay.” We hauled our boards out of the water and 10 minutes later he was hauling a 7′ hammerhead from the breaker-line we were JUST SURFING IN. The reality is, the sharks are always there . . . We decided to head to the pool for the rest of the day ;)

    7. August 7, 2012 at 8:15 am

      I have to admit knowing certain species of sharks are hanging out so close to shore in certain areas of the cape creeps me out. However, these suckers have been around forever and we have all been blissfully unaware. The beaches I frequent in Falmouth with my littles are far from seal territory, and my girls aren’t able to wander more than a couple of feet into the water because they are so little. I think we need to get used to these great white tourists :P

      • Ashley B.
        August 7, 2012 at 8:57 am

        Ha! Great White Tourists, hehehe.

    8. Kathy
      August 7, 2012 at 9:06 am

      I read this morning that kids are stealing the “Warning–Shark Sighting” signs that were posted on the Atlantic beaches. Great for a dorm room, but this is dangerous!

      • Ashley B.
        August 7, 2012 at 9:59 am

        That is horrible Kathy, and yes- very dangerous indeed :(

    9. August 7, 2012 at 5:32 pm

      I agree, the Great White Shark epidemic is pretty scary. Its definitely got me thinking twice about going to the beach or in the water.
      Have most of the attacks been much off shore? I would think that if you’re staying close to the shoreline and in the shallow water then you would be okay.

      • Ashley B.
        August 8, 2012 at 9:09 am

        Hi David,

        I believe with the kayaker incident the shark was pretty close to shore, but experts now think that the shark was a basking shark. The incident where the body surfer was bitten was farther offshore, and there were seals reported in that area at the time. This shark bite was confirmed a great white shark bite today.

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