Cape Cod sharks

Great White Shark: Cape Cod Whites ‘Expanding Turf’ Say Experts

Great white shark sightings in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, have been pretty common in 2014. While spotting one of these huge beauties (or beasts, call them what you will) used to be somewhat rare in the northern Atlantic, white sharks have made plenty of appearances there lately. According to Cape Cod Online, these sharks appear to be “expanding their turf” and the local population seems to be growing.

This summer 56 individual sharks were identified in the area. Fifteen of them were tagged as part of a scientific study which hopes to “determine the size of both the local population that comes each year to feast on Cape Cod seals and the greater population in the northwest Atlantic.”

Of course, great white sharks tend to gather where there is an abundance of food, said food being seals. Lately, there has been an increase in the seal population in Cape Cod, and the sharks have come in to feed. From Chatham to Wellfleet and back again, white sharks have certainly been “vacationing” on the Cape — but will they end up calling the Cape “home?” Some say that these sharks are going to be here to stay as their bodies are becoming acclimated to the chilly waters of the northeast coast.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Katharine, a great white that was tagged years ago, pops up in Cape Cod frequently. Her transmitter sent pings from the area earlier this week, as a matter of fact. The 14-foot, 2,300-pound female was believed to be near Wellfleet Harbor around 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday, according to another report by Cape Cod Online.

There is some speculation about Katharine and why she is so fond of the ocean waters surrounding Cape Cod. She has gone as far south as Key West, Florida, and has sent off pings steadily since being tagged. But she keeps coming back to the Cape. It is believed, however, that Katharine is a younger shark — which means that sharks might be coming north at younger ages for a reason.

“Katharine’s trip back to Cape Cod indicates she is not yet a fully mature shark. Pregnant sharks have an 18-month gestation period so Katharine would not return to Cape Cod year after year if she was mature,” said Chris Fischer, the founding chairman and expedition leader at Ocearch.

[Photo courtesy of Chris Brunskill Ltd/Rex Features via The Guardian]