scorecardresearch Skip to main content

There have been 7 shark sightings in 2 days on the Cape — and more are expected

A shark warning sign stands at White Crest Beach in Wellfleet. There were seven sightings on Sunday and Monday.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

In just two days as many as seven great white sharks have been spotted cruising off the Cape Cod shoreline, sharing the warming waters with seals, fish — and humans on holiday.

To Greg Skomal, the state’s marine biologist, the white sharks are now a standard part of summer in Massachusetts. Like the humans populating restaurants, cottages, and houses near the coast, great whites appreciate warm water and ready access to food.

On Monday, Skomal and his research partners at the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy were on the water in a boat while a scout plane buzzed back and forth above the beaches, both searching the Atlantic for signs of the fearsome apex predators.


Skomal said that his team spotted three great whites, two near Head of the Meadow Beach in Truro and a third off Race Point in Provincetown. Four other shark sightings were reported between Sunday and Monday, including one off Nauset Beach, where the animal was spotted devouring a seal.

“It’s typical of this time of year,’’ Skomal said of the sightings from Sunday and Monday, including his own. “They get spotted by people from time to time. It’s something that’s been happening for years. It’s nothing unusual.”

Skomal said he and the researchers took videos of the three sharks they spotted, and it will take about three months for him to develop individual profiles of the animals. So he knows for certain there were at least three sharks around Cape Cod. The four other sightings could have been from the same group of sharks or different ones.

He said he has so far been unable to tag any shark, but he will be on the water twice a week, hoping to add to the growing number of sharks who wear data-collection and tracking devices. The ramblings of those sharks are posted on the and its app, sharktivity.


Skomal said great whites continue to be drawn by the abundance of seals. Some estimates say that there are as many as 50,000 seals residing in the waters off the state’s coast.

“There’s plenty of seals,’’ said Skomal who works for the state Division of Marine Fisheries.

John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@