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Video shows great white shark eating a seal close to Nauset Beach shoreline

Screenshot via video from Megan Haggett

Officials from the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy reminded beachgoers this week that August through October marks the height of great white shark season off Cape Cod, after someone captured video of one of the apex predators eating a seal close to the shoreline of Nauset Beach.

On Thursday, the conservancy posted the video, taken a day prior, to Facebook and Twitter. In the clip, a shark can be seen thrashing back and forth in the water, not too far from where the waves are breaking on the beach.

“A number of predations have been witnessed recently off Callanan’s Pass (north of the public beach),” the conservancy wrote. “We remind Cape residents and visitors that August-October are the peak months of white shark activity off our coast. Please adhere to all signage and flag warnings at beaches and follow instructions of the lifeguards.”

The 10-second video was taken by Megan Haggett’s husband, David, around 11:23 a.m. Wednesday, she said in a telephone interview. She later sent the clip to the conservancy to share online.


Haggett said she was at Nauset Beach with David and their two young children when they witnessed the predation, a scene she described as “scary,” as they watched a pool of blood form in the ocean.

“It felt like it was right in front of us,” she said, adding that there was a lot of seal activity in the water that day. “My husband was saying it was maybe 50 to 100 yards away from us.”

People who were standing near Haggett can be heard in the video gasping and saying “oh my God!” as the shark eats its prey and whips its sharp tail around in the gray water.

Nauset Beach was temporarily closed to swimmers at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, shortly after the reported sighting.


Dozens of temporary beach closures have occurred this month on Cape Cod and the Islands because of shark sightings up and down the coast, according to a running Globe tally. The beaches with the most sightings in August so far are Nauset Beach in Orleans with 12 closures and Head of the Meadow Beach in Truro with 10 closures.

The conservancy, a nonprofit, has been conducting great white shark research off Cape Cod with state shark experts for several years.

This summer alone, researchers have made nine trips — five on the outer Cape and four in the bay — and tagged 19 sharks, calling it “a new record for this point in the season.”

Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear. Globe Correspondent Maria Lovato contributed to this report.