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‘The Cape is among the larger white shark hotspots worldwide’


A new population study of great white sharks off Cape Cod shows that the region is one of the largest white shark hotspots in the world, as the apex predators flock to the Cape to hunt seals.

Local shark researchers recently found that about 800 individual white sharks visited the waters off the Cape from 2015 to 2018. This count of 800 sharks is the first-ever estimate of white shark abundance in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Megan Winton, lead author of the study and a staff scientist for the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, had revealed this population estimate last month during a new National Geographic special for Sharkfest.

“Cape Cod is the only area in the region where researchers can feasibly monitor the population, and our estimates suggest that the Cape is among the larger white shark hotspots worldwide, which is good news from a conservation standpoint,” Winton said.

The researchers found that white shark numbers along Cape Cod peaked in the late summer and early fall, when water temperatures are warmest, and declined as sharks migrate out of the area for the winter.

They found that the number of white sharks visiting the site increased over the duration of the survey, and estimated about 800 individuals visited the waters off Cape Cod from 2015 to 2018.

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