Experts Warn of Shark Activity at Cape Cod Ahead of Memorial Day

Researchers have just seen two marine animals with fresh bite wounds near Chatham and Plymouth—one of them just this week—and are advising the public to be vigilant for Atlantic white sharks as the summer season starts on Cape Cod and other coastal locations.

On Thursday, researchers from the New England Aquarium released an alert in the lead-up to Memorial Day, urging beachgoers to remain vigilant, report any sightings of white sharks, and review shark safety measures. Experts are advising against visiting the famous Cape Cod beach over Memorial Day weekend due to an upsurge in shark activity, which coincides with the unofficial beginning of summer.

During an airborne survey off Nauset and Monomoy on Wednesday, a white shark was seen a few hundred yards offshore and another about a mile away.

On May 21, off the coast of Chatham, Massachusetts, a fishing charter business reported a minke whale biting a white shark. The recent spate of attacks serves as a sobering reminder that sharks have begun frequenting the white sand beaches of Cape Cod.

More than fifteen shark species are known to visit the New England coast at various times of the year, according to the aquarium.

In a statement, the aquarium announced that the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy’s Sharktivity app allows users to record shark sightings and receive updates on shark activity.

Keep near shore and watch out for seals and sharks hunting in areas with steep drops or bottomless pits. Intelligent sharks know to look for seals, both on land and in the water. With seals come sharks.

Experts say people routinely check the news and traffic updates, and beachgoers should check for reports about the beaches. A Sharktivity app from the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy is available so people can  see if there’s any “local shark action.” 

Working with a network of offshore receivers spanning from Massachusetts Bay to Nantucket and Vineyard sounds, the aquarium’s app records shark sightings and pings from tagged white sharks.