Coast of Cape Cod has a visitor: a 13-foot great white shark. The beast is Scratchy, which got the name due to scratches on its body. With its arrival, the male shark has kicked off shark season in the area.
Scratchy is the first great white shark spotted this season, as per a report of the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy. Researchers came to know about the creature when they noticed tag on its body. It was tagged in 2014, and the animal still has the tag on it.
Experts at the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy said this year’s shark season has begun early. Last year, the first shark was around June 22. They said that increased population of seals in the west of Cape Cod is the reason of early season. Seal numbers have increased dramatically in the area. More than four decades ago, they were at the verge of extinction in the region, but the Marine Mammal Protection Act since 1972 has been protecting the seals. Now, they are several in numbers, attracting great white sharks.
Marine conservationists have tagged about 80 great white sharks that visited Cape Cod in recent years, and Scratchy was one of them. A team of marine conservationists led by Dr. Greg Skomal tagged the sharks between 2009 and 2015. According to Skomal, the animal was tagged with an aim to understand their movements in the water. The team wants to gather information about the great whites in the Cape Cod.