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Rise In Sharks Off Cape Cod Could Lead To Sirens, Alert Systems At Some Beaches

CBS Boston logoCBS Boston 7/17/2019 Syndicated Local – CBS Boston
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BARNSTABLE (CBS) – With a dozen great white sharks tagged off of Cape Cod so far this summer, authorities are trying to figure out the best way to protect swimmers.

Barnstable County commissioners met Wednesday morning to talk about some of the safety proposals.

One company, Acoustic Technology Inc. of Boston, presented their emergency notification system, which would include sirens and a voice-recorded alert to warn people to get out of the water when sharks are nearby.

Some beaches on the Cape now have emergency call boxes and first aid kits with tourniquets and other medical supplies in case someone is bitten by a shark.

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A first aid kit for shark attacks in Orleans. (Image credit: CBS News)

Greg Skomal, a shark biologist at Mass Marine Fisheries, tagged four great whites Tuesday alone, bringing the total to 12 so far this season, in what he’s calling a “banner year” because they haven’t tagged so many, so early in the summer.

“They’re everywhere you can be on the eastern shore of the cape, and even Cape Cod Bay, there are sharks,” said spotter pilot Wayne Davis.

From the Vineyard to Provincetown, there’s now an estimated 50,000 seals, and because their numbers are increasing, so too are the white sharks, which come to feed on the seals.

For decades, Crocker Snow’s family has owned a tiny island off of Nantucket. When he was a boy, there were only a few seals on Muskeget Island. Now, it’s overrun. “It’s obvious there’s a problem there,” Snow said. “We can’t just close our eyes to it.”

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A Great White Shark swims off the shore of Cape Cod on July 13, 2019. (Photo credit JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images)

Last year, there were two shark attacks off the Cape. Arthur Medici, 26, of Revere, was killed while boogie boarding off a beach in Wellfleet in September. It was the first fatal shark attack in Massachusetts since 1936. Another man was bitten off a beach in nearby Truro in August, but survived.

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