Authorities are warning beachgoers in Massachusetts of a large presence of sharks just off the coast ahead of July 4, one of the most popular beach holidays in the United States.
Officials have cautioned that a significant number of sharks have been spotted off Cape Cod, an historical beach retreat just off of the Massachusetts mainland.
Experts with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy said in a press conference this week that swimmers should be aware of the threat posed by the predators. “They’re a constant presence from June to the fall,” scientist Megan Winton said.
Winton said attempts to preserve shark species from extinction have paid off in recent years.
“It’s a conservation success story in terms of sharks and seals,” she said. “At the same time, [Cape Cod] is an important place for people to recreate, so it’s important to find ways to coexist.”
Earlier in the week the sighting of a great white shark closed beaches at the town of Truro at the northern end of the cape.
Greg Skomal, who serves Massachusetts as a state marine biologist, said the sharp drop-off of the beach shelf can surprise some swimmers into entering shark territory.
“Sharks will come close to the shore when they have water depth,” he said.