Three popular beaches were closed in Cape Code, Massachusetts, after at least two great white sharks were seen scavenging on a dead minke whale in the coastal waters. Nevertheless, conservationists are over-thrilled since the rare appearance suggests that white shark population is rebounding in the area.
Researchers believe that the great white shark population along the north-eastern US Atlantic coast is on the right track due to a resurgence in grey seal population in the region. Sharks would rather feast on seals than whale carcasses, scientists said.
James Sulikowski a marine science expert with the University of New England explained that there are now more sharks in Cape Code because they have a richer source of food. Sulikowski explained that the animals really enjoy seals and they don’t have to work very hard to get them as there are plenty of them in the area.
The Center for Coastal Studies said late last week that the minke whale carcass lost most of its tissue in just one day of observation. CCS investigators noted that the two sharks which were first seen feasting on the dead animal on Wednesday were able to remove the organs, tongue and most of muscle from the bone.
As of Thursday, there were only the spinal column and skull left, CCS announced.
Due to the great white shark’s proverbial voracity, beaches at Beach Point, Noons Landing and Cold Storage were closed in the wake of the appearance. The hungry animals were spotted off Truro, but the researchers said that they saw white sharks four hours north of the site of the appearance.
Sulikowski expressed his hopes that more sharks are spotted in the area. He explained that unlike popular belief, the great white shark is not the cold-blooded predator that feasts on anything he catches.
In fact, the researcher said, it plays an important role in the ecosystem: it targets only the sick, the dying or the dead, and it strengthens seal populations by removing the old and disabled.
However, it is not the first time the great white shark makes an appearance in Cape Cod. Last month, a shark was spotted off Duxbury beach and authorities warned swimmers that they entered the waters at their own risk.
Last week, another white shark was detected in Wellfleet harbor. Even though the appearance was not confirmed, swimmers were asked to get out of Martha’s Vineyard’ s waters.
Image Source: Wikimedia
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