Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is known for its beaches. It is also a hot spot for sharks. In 2021, there were more than 150,000 shark detections.
Sharks are part of the Cape Cod ecosystem . Since the 1970s, shark numbers have dropped worldwide. In 1972, the Marine Mammal Protection Act was signed into law. It bans the hunting of sea mammals. The number of seals went up. Today, the Massachusetts coast is home to about 50,000 gray seals. More seals means more food for sharks. Seals gather near the shoreline. That is one reason great whites are showing up there too.
“What we are seeing is a conservation success story,” Marianne Walsh says. She works for the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy.
Sharks can be dangerous. They mistake people or objects for food. But people can safely share the ocean with them. Preparation is the best way. Pay attention to lifeguards. Do not go out past waist-deep water. And do not swim alone.