Toothy traveler chomps seal on Cape
Whale watchers spot season's first great white in rare 'predation' event
Great white sharks are starting to make their way back to the Cape ahead of Memorial Day, as one of the apex predators put on quite the show for those out on the water this weekend.
The first confirmed white shark sighting of the season was reported on Saturday when a shark chomped on a seal off of Provincetown. The shark was seen by those on board the Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch.
Passengers were surprised with an early season white shark predation of a seal.
“GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING,” Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch wrote on Instagram. “Today’s 10am trip was left in awe when we encountered a large great white shark predating a juvenile gray seal on Stellwagen Bank.”
The shark’s meal of the seal lasted for about 7 minutes. Those on board estimated that the apex predator was more than 12-feet long.
“We’ve shared the video with shark researchers who have confirmed this is the first eyewitness confirmation of a predation this season,” the Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch wrote. “While we have a healthy population of great whites and seals on Cape Cod, predation events like this are not often sighted. This is the first time our crew has seen a predation in all of our collective years on the water!
“Sharks are back in the area,” the whale watching agency added. “This is a great reminder to be Shark Smart when visiting the Cape Cod National Seashore.”
It was the first shark sighting reported this season on the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy’s Sharktivity app. The app lights up with shark sightings during the summer and into the fall.
“First confirmed sighting of the season,” tweeted MA Sharks, which is run by shark researcher John Chisholm, who confirms sightings for the Sharktivity app.
“If you’re lucky enough to see a white shark please remember to send me your sighting via the @sharktivity app or by tagging me in your post,” Chisholm added.
Great white shark activity again ramped up along the Cape last year, as apex predator detections hit an all-time high for the seventh straight year with researchers tagging more sharks in the region every summer and fall. Last year’s count of 133 individual sharks detected was the most ever.
Sharks were detected from May to December last year. August was the busiest month for shark activity, the second-most active month was September, followed by October.
“As we get closer to the summer and fall seasons, it is important to note that white sharks are making their way back to the Cape Cod coastline,” the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy tweeted over the weekend. “Please remember to follow the shark smart guidelines and to report white shark sightings to the Sharktivity App.”