Researchers Spot Nearly 20 Great White Sharks Off Cape Cod

Scientists detected nearly 20 great white sharks off the coast of Cape Cod during a research trip earlier this week, identifying both animals that were known to frequent the area in previous years, as well as several new visitors to the region.

During summer months, the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy conducts tagging expeditions several times a week, aiming to document the region’s great whties. As NECN reports, last Thursday’s voyage turned out to be extremely successful, with researchers spotting as many as 19 different great white sharks. The team was able to capture 16 of the white sharks on film using a GoPro, while a previously tagged shark, named Finn by researchers, was also detected.

The conservancy is in the midst of an ongoing population study of the local white sharks geared not only toward recording their numbers, but also how many of the great whites are repeat visitors to the cape. Over the last few years, white sharks have become a regular presence in the region during summer months, drawn by a rebounding seal population. Of the nearly 20 great white sharks that were spotted on Thursday, seven were previously known to researchers, having been documented either earlier this year, or during last year’s tagging operations. In the summer of 2014, the conservancy identified 68 individual white sharks off the cape, as ABC News reports.

While there are definitely some repeat visitors this year, the summer is just as notable for the absence of certain white sharks. As the Inquisitr has recently reported, several large great whites that were tagged off Cape Cod in recent years have remained in southern waters this summer, swimming off Georgia and the Carolinas. Among them are Katharine and Mary Lee, two sharks that have found widespread fame through the efforts of the non-profit group Ocearch. Katharine, in particular, looks unlikely to visit the cape, as her most recent course is set to take her to Bermuda.

The 2015 tagging season has been nothing if not eventful. Earlier this year, a great white shark made international headlines when it became stranded on a Chatham beach. Researchers from the conservancy were among the officials who rescued the shark, towing it back into the sea and resuscitating it. The great white, named Jameson, has since been detected numerous times, proving to researchers that the shark did indeed survive its ordeal.

[Image: Atlantic White Shark Conservancy via Mass Live]