The population of Atlantic great white sharks has reportedly expanded along Massachusetts’ Cape Cod peninsula, with detections on the rise.
While numbers of the feared fish on the East Coast are markedly less than those swimming in the Pacific, the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy (AWSC) has reported numbers increasing since the species was designated as a protected species in most federal waters in the 1990s and in Massachusetts state waters in 2005.
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The conservancy asserts that the rise over the past few years indicates recovery in the area. However, according to the organization’s website, that “stock status remains uncertain” and that an increased presence is also linked to rising seal populations.
AWSC researchers told The Boston Herald on Tuesday that data from eight years ago showed there were only 11 individual sharks detected along the Cape.
However, in 2020 the group detected 118 individual sharks in the region – although there were notably more acoustic transmitters deployed to aid in the search.
In April, AWSC announced the first basking shark sighting off Provincetown’s Herring Cove Beach, noting in a tweet that basking shark fins are often mistaken for white shark fins.
According to the publication, 231 individual great white sharks have been tagged by Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries transmitters since 2010 – a total allegedly less than reported by local researchers.
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In 2019, researchers said they had tagged more sharks on the Cape than ever before.
Rhode Island’s Atlantic Shark Institute said in 2020 that they had detected nine great white sharks in nearby waters.
The most detections, according to AWSC, have been in August over the last four years. Shark season extends through the end of October.
AWSC did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment on the matter.
Populations have also been seen rising on the West Coast, especially as temperatures warm.
According to the Florida Museum, the odds of being attacked and killed by a shark are 1 in 3,748,067.
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In 2018, a 26-year-old man was killed after he was attacked at Newcomb Hollow Beach – the first fatal shark attack in Massachusetts since 1936.
In addition, scientists warn that the apex predators patrol the shoreline for seals at all times of the day.