Massachusetts marine conservationists spot great white shark in waters of Cape Cod

Massachusetts marine conservationists spot great white shark in waters of Cape Cod

On Thursday morning, Massachusetts marine conservationists came across a great white shark they once tagged swimming in Cape Cod water.

The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy said that the visitor was in fact ‘Scratchy’, a 13-foot male great white that was tagged with an electronic tracker to monitor its activity in August last year. Scratchy was first identified in 2014 by the Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Department.

The predator got named Scratchy by the conservationists because of the presence of several scratches on its side, probably as a result of encounters with seals.


Great white sharks aren’t known to frequent the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, but as per the state marine fisheries division, many of the ocean predators have been spotted swimming around Monomoy Island, present off the coast of Chatham, Cape Cod. The region is famous for its huge population of gray seals.

From 2009 to 2015, marine researchers have found and tagged around 80 great white sharks off the coast of Cape Cod.

Due to the growing sea population in Cape Cod, scientists think the region may very well turn into a new hub for predatory great white sharks.

A marine biologist, Owen Nichols, studied seals for 15 years, and said that the marine mammals have seen a population boom in the past some decades.

Nichols explained that until 1960s, seals were virtually eliminated from Cape Cod waters. He said that what has been happening presently is that the marine mammals have started re-colonizing the area, which may result into a resurgence of seals.

In 1972, prior to the implementation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, seal sightings in the area were quite rare. Locals often hunted the marine mammals before they received protection from federal government.


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