2009 Great White Shark Season Wrap Up
Two kayakers reported the first great white attack on a seal August 19, 2009. Cape Codders Bruce Bean and Rod MacKinnon were kayaking from Chatham to Monomoy Island early one Saturday morning when they heard a large splash near Chatham Lighthouse.
They soon spotted a large gray seal streaming blood and a large black fin in the water nearby. At one point the mortally wounded seal surfaced for air about 5 feet from the kayaks, Bean said.
The two men followed a prearranged plan in case of a shark sighting, rafting their kayaks together to appear larger, Bean said. After the seal and shark disappeared, the men quickly paddled away from the bloodied water.
This report led to the following I wish I hadn’t said that quote of the year a couple days later:
“White sharks do occur in New England off our waters,” said Dr. Greg Skomal of the state Division of Marine Fisheries. “However, they are not very abundant. We’d be hard-pressed, for example, to go out and try to find one.” - WBZ
The 2009 shark season ramped up quickly from there and peaked in mid September with the MA DMF out in full force with patrol boats, a spotter plane and harpoon vessel spotting and tagging great white sharks with satellite tags on the Eastern shore. Many sharks were spotted by amateur shark hunters, the outer beaches in Chatham were closed to swimming, binocular sales were made and bus tours were booked.
Sharks were sighted inside Chatham Harbor, 15 yards off North Beach Island and near Lighthouse Beach - CCTimes
Summer resident gets photo of a shark attacking a seal off Nauset Beach - CCTimes
MA DMF: Area where sharks were spotted and tagged during four days in September - MA DMF
MA DMF: 2009 White Shark Tagging off Chatham, Cape Cod - MA DMF
Several great whites were spotted during September of 2009. The sharks ranged in size from 8 feet to over 15 feet.
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