16 Great White Sharks Spotted Off Cape Cod

Researchers were able to document 16 different great white sharks off the coast of Cape Cod last week, as the summer tagging season continues unabated.

A team from the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy observed the great whites off the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge in Chatham, according to the Boston Globe, an area well known for hosting the species during the summer months. While each of the conservancy’s bi-weekly research voyages usually includes the sighting of anywhere between five to 10 sharks, last Thursday’s trip resulted in the documentation of a staggering 16 different white sharks, according to the organization’s president, Cynthia Wigren.

“This was the biggest day of the season in terms of the number of sharks that were identified. We even had two sharks that swam by the boat at the same time, one from one direction and one from the other.”

The sharks are spotted by pilot Wayne Davis, who then directs researchers to the animal’s location, as ABC News reports. At one crucial point on Thursday, Davis had seven different great whites in his field of view at once. The team, which includes Dr. Greg Skomal, a senior biologist with the state Division of Marine Fisheries, were also able to detect a 17th white shark which had been tagged with an acoustic transponder on a previous expedition.

None of the great whites were tagged during the four-and-a-half hour voyage, as conditions must be pristine in order for researchers to affix a transmitter. Several of the sharks were filmed, however, and the footage will be used to identify features unique to each great white.

While certain white sharks that are known to frequent the area have been notable holdouts this season, as the Inquisitr previously reported, several repeat visitors from previous years have made their presence known. The researchers’ efforts are aimed not only at determining the number of white sharks off the coast, but also how many of the animals return year-to-year.

Researchers spotted 16 sharks in the same area twice last year, both times during September. Wigren noted that the region’s white shark activity seems to be on the increase this year, meaning that the coming months could possibly reveal an even larger concentration of great whites.

[Image: Atlantic White Shark Conservancy via Twitter]