Officials in Massachusetts are warning that great white sharks, the very same species depicted in the classic 1970s classic film "Jaws" are enroute towards the waters off Massachusetts just as vacationers are heading for fun on beach on the Memorial Day weekend. The hungry mankillers are migrating from warmer climes to seek out their favorite provender: grey seals. The marine mammals that have grown in numbers because of strictly enforced protection mean the sharks now have more food to choose from but might still mistake swimming human beings for cavorting seals.
Great white sharks (Carcharadoncarcharias) like Cape Cod, the area that was the scene of the 'Jaws' movie because of the many seals that live there. Marine biologists expect to see lots of sharks this year. According to WCVB-TV of Boston, Greg Skomal - a scientist with the Division of Fisheries of Massachusetts - said "It's that increase in the grey seal population that we've seen over the last four decades that's now drawing these sharks closer to shore. The café is open and these sharks have come here to feed." At least four to five of these sharks are expected to stay in the area until approximately December of this year.
New technologies allow researchers to track great white sharks. Scientists can know when they arrive and when they leave. Researchers catch great white sharks and harpoon them with tracking satellite-enable tags that allow them to visualize in real-time their migration along the Atlantic coast as they swim from Florida to South Carolina, Georgia, and even Bermuda, and back again. Over the last four years, researchers have seen an increase in the number of sharks migrating to Massachusetts.
then back north again. Scientists know where the sharks are on any given day.
Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.
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