sharks | CAI



Thirteen research groups and government agencies have formed a consortium to share information about white sharks in the northwest Atlantic Ocean, and Cape Cod organizations are among them.

David Bigelow

Once, there was a famous shark, and a boat that inspired one of the most famous movie lines of all time. The Orca, the fishing boat from Jaws, is long gone, but an effort is underway to bring the vessel back to life.

Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries / Atlantic White Shark Conservancy

Frequent shark sightings this summer along the Atlantic coast of Cape Cod haven’t deterred people from heading to the seashore.

Sam Houghton

The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, a non-profit research organization out of Chatham, announced a number of new initiatives this week aimed at better understanding sharks that visit every summer.

Sarah Mizes-Tan / WCAI

About 200 Outer Cape residents and concerned citizens attended a community meeting at Nauset High School on Thursday to learn more about the recently released, long-awaited shark study conducted by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy and the National Seashore about shark mitigation strategies.

Sarah Mizes-Tan / WCAI

A new public safety report about sharks has been released by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, the Cape Cod National Seashore and six Outer Cape towns. The report looked at a number of different shark mitigation strategies, including shark barriers, shark detection buoys and the possibility of culling sharks or seals.

Shark Ambassadors Seek to Improve Beach Awareness

Jul 19, 2019
Sarah Mizes-Tan / WCAI


Shark sightings on the Outer Cape have been keeping beachgoers on edge in recent weeks. To help people better understand what’s out there, and how to swim safely, the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy has created a new program, putting what they call “Shark Ambassadors” out on beaches. 

Making Catch-And-Release Safer For Sharks

Jun 10, 2019
Scientist Jeff Kneebone tags a juvenile sand tiger shark in Quincy Bay off Wollaston Beach.
Courtesy Jeff Kneebone

Say the word “shark” to a New Englander these days and the mind jumps straight to great white sharks, which have seen a remarkable increase here in recent years.

But great whites aren't the only sharks around. And it turns out we know little about many of the sharks that frequent New England's waters.

Now there’s a new effort to understand how catch-and-release fishing of sandbar sharks impacts their survival.

Fake limbs and rolls of gauze sat on tables in the community room at the Orleans Police Department, as a recent Stop the Bleed training got under way. The trainings are a modern-day equivalent to CPR classes, says Orleans Fire Chief Anthony Pike. Stop the Bleed teaches response to major wounds, like shark bites, and the program has been popular.

Alva Pratt / unsplash

When it comes to sharks, great whites and the risk to human swimmers have dominated public attention in the northeast recently. But, there are hundreds of species of sharks, and for most of them, in most of the world, humans are a far greater threat to sharks than the other way around. That’s why Anna Oposa is working to establish a shark shelter in the waters around the Phillippines.

Gray seals are giving birth now to pups like this one on Muskeget and Monomoy Islands.
NOAA Fisheries/Kimberly Murray, NEFSC. Research permit #17670-04

Congress and the president reached a deal on Friday to re-open the government for three weeks while they continue negotiations on how best to secure the nation’s southern border.

Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism / SUESS


In the wake of the Cape’s first shark fatality, there have been increasing concerns about the seal population and its impact on tourism and the economy of fisheries, which leaves many people wondering: does Cape Cod have a seal problem?

Wellfleet Officials Hold Forum to Discuss Shark Safety

Sep 28, 2018
Sarah Tan / WCAI

After the Cape’s first ever shark bite fatality, Wellfleet town officials met last night to take suggestions from shark experts and local residents about how to prevent another shark attack in the future.

Shark Safety Tips from Greg Skomal

Sep 24, 2018
Greg Skomal shares his approach to staying safe around white sharks.

The death of a 26-year-old man off the coast of Wellfleet September 15th marked the first deadly shark attack in Massachusetts in more than 80 years.

But it was also the second shark attack here in a month. Sixty-one-year-old William Lytton was bitten by a great white off of Truro on August 15. He survived.

Sarah Tan / WCAI

The death of 26-year-old Arthur Medici from shark bite wounds is the state’s first shark-related death in over 80 years. Now, researchers and policymakers are looking at ways the Cape could increase beach safety and awareness around the growing great white shark population. 

Man Dies After Shark Attack on Wellfleet Beach

Sep 16, 2018
Hayley Fager

A 26-year-old man died after being attacked by a shark off of a Wellfleet beach on Saturday. Arthur Medici of Revere was boogie boarding off of Newcomb Hollow Beach around noon when he was bitten. Other beachgoers noticed blood in the water and pulled him out and administered CPR until police arrived at the scene. The victim was then transported to Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, where he succumbed to his injuries.



Julian Swistak was at the beach when the incident happened and described what he saw.


Sharks Are Smart In Their Own Way

Jun 25, 2018
Jeff Janowski, UNCW

Great white sharks have started filtering back into Massachusetts waters. Researchers are pretty sure food is what brings them here, but it’s hard to know for sure what sharks are thinking.

Photographer Aims to Change Perceptions of Sharks

May 30, 2017
A great white shark attacks a seal decoy off Cape Cod.
Courtesy of Brian Skerry

For decades, public perceptions of sharks have been shaped by images of man-eating monsters, like Jaws. Award-winning underwater photographer Brian Skerry would like to change that. His new book, Shark, is a collection of vivid, up-close photographs with stories written by Skerry and his colleagues at National Geographic Magazine.

Skerry was only twenty years old the first time he encountered a shark face-to-face. After hours in a shark cage seeing nothing, a female blue shark emerged from the murky water.

Fitbit for Sharks

May 29, 2017
Fitbit-like tags researchers like Nick Whitney about what sharks have been up to.
OCEARCH/Robert Snow / OCEARCH/Robert Snow

People track how much exercise they get using a Fitbit, and now there’s a similar device for sharks.

These accelerometer tags use the same computer chip as the human Fitbit and track how many times a day a shark beats its tail, any changes in body pitch and posture, and the shark’s orientation in the water. All that, plus the depth and temperature of the water.

Cape Cod Could Be the Next Nursery for Baby White Sharks

May 29, 2017
A computer model developed by Chris Lowe's lab shows that Cape Cod could become a baby shark nursery.
Courtesy New England Aquarium / Courtesy New England Aquarium

Cape Cod has seen a dramatic increase in the number of great white sharks frequenting our waters since 2009. Most have been adults, but sightings of baby white sharks are also on the rise.

Now there’s research that points to Cape Cod as the next great white shark nursery.

Chris Lowe, professor of marine biology and director of the Shark Lab at California State University at Long Beach, has been studying this possibility.

No longer a rarity in this region, white sharks are frequently spotted off Cape Cod beaches each summer. While scientists welcome the opportunity to learn more about the species, there is a safety risk for humans recreating in the water.  On The Point, we discuss a collaboration with scientists, towns, and the Cape Cod National Seashore, for public safety and education about white sharks.


It’s been the summer of the shark. In tourist-heavy North and South Carolina, 11 people have been attacked, leaving visitors concerned about swimming. Could the same thing happen here? State marine biologist Greg Skomal says, probably not.

Top stories include fallout from the state crime lab scandal, public dissatisfaction with the lack of an evacuation plan for Cape Cod in event of an emergency at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant, and what to do about great white sharks in the Cape's waters.