Cape Cod's beaches and towns may be quieter because of the coronavirus pandemic, but officials are reminding visitors ahead of the July 4th holiday that the famous Massachusetts getaway remains a popular destination for other summertime travelers: great white sharks. Cape Cod National Seashore Chief Ranger Leslie Reynolds warned at a news conference that the powerful predators are coming close enough to shore to be a concern for swimmers. Officials in Orleans also have documented at least two shark attacks on seals in recent days, the Cape Cod Times reports. And Gregory Skomal, a prominent shark scientist with the state Division of Marine Fisheries, says he tagged three great whites circling a whale carcass earlier this month.
The peninsula southeast of Boston saw two shark attacks on humans in 2018, one of them fatal. Officials have recommended swimmers remain in waist-deep water where possible and avoid areas where sharks have been previously spotted, the AP reports. Authorities are weighing a range of responses to protect beachgoers and preserve the region’s tourist economy. Local residents concerned about the booming shark population, meanwhile, say they'll boost their efforts to help protect swimmers this summer. More pilots have volunteered to radio in shark sightings as they fly over the peninsula, said Heather Doyle, co-founder of Cape Cod Ocean Community, a local group that advocates for white shark surveillance and detection measures.
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