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Second great white shark tagged this season

Greg Skomal affixed a tracking device to an 11-foot great white Monday.
Greg Skomal affixed a tracking device to an 11-foot great white Monday.Atlantic White Shark Conservancy

“Shark Week” has officially begun, so it’s appropriate that state biologists, working with the non-profit Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, marked the occasion by successfully tracking down and tagging the second great white shark of the season.

In a tweet Monday, researchers from the conservancy said that Division of Marine Fisheries biologist Greg Skomal affixed a tracking device to an 11-foot great white that was swimming near the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, off Chatham.

The tagging event was documented by the conservancy on Snapchat.

The first tagging this season happened on Friday, off Nauset Beach, the same day that the research team witnessed the second incident of a shark feeding in a single week.

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That tagged shark, a male that had been first identified in 2014, during the conservancy’s population study in Cape Cod waters, was named after Luke Gurney, a fisherman from Martha’s Vineyard and Skomal’s close friend. Gurney died recently in a fishing accident near Nantucket.

Great white shark sightings have been plentiful in recent weeks, as the predators make their annual return to the waters off Massachusetts. Beachgoers last week watched from the shore as a great white devoured a seal in Provincetown.

Skomal said in May that he expected this year’s shark count to exceed last year’s numbers, when experts were able to identify 141 individual great whites in state waters and tag 24 of them.


Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.