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Home PENNSYLVANIA Growing number of sharks allows tourists to get up close and personal

Growing number of sharks allows tourists to get up close and personal


Ecotourism and the growing number of great white shark sightings on the East Coast resulted in a fast-growing way to get close to the massive animals cruising near our shores.A private charter tour in Chatham, Massachusetts, run by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, is where you’re almost guaranteed to see sharks thanks to the help of a spotter plane.”By using a spotter pilot, for example, we keep these animals freely swimming and we’re able to observe them in their natural habitat,” said Maddie Poirier, a community educator with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy.They can even identify the shark if it’s already been tagged using a hydrophone.”That high-pitched ticking is the noise that we’re looking for. So, this means that this shark is tagged,” said Poirier.That let her identify a shark just by the sound: in this case, it was a male named Scarface who, when he was tagged in July 2019, was about 12 feet long.The ability to easily find sharks in the ocean off Cape Cod is tied to the growing seal population that continues to attract more sharks to the area. Data obtained by sister station 5 Investigates reveals there were 541 shark sightings this year through August, compared to 203 in the same time last year, a 167% increase. The conservancy said the increase could be a result of more eyes on the water, an increase in shark ecotourism and promotion of using the Sharktivity app to submit sightings.August is typically the peak month for sharks on the Cape, followed by September and October.Capt. Devin Kahn said the shark trip is the company’s fastest-growing tour.”These sharks are really cruising the shallow waters, and they’re they’re really cruising areas that the seals would be,” he said. “Everybody seems to really have a big interest in the sharks out here.”Research shows sharks are often in shallow water close to the shore. One of the many sharks spotted this day was in five feet of water, just 30 feet from the beach. Poirier said the shark charters are opening people’s minds. “We can change people’s misconceptions, and we can teach them something new,” she said.Passenger Matthew Ellis was impressed. “The fact that they’re able to actually put those sharks next to the boat, it’s pretty amazing,” Ellis said.Watch the video above for the full story.

Ecotourism and the growing number of great white shark sightings on the East Coast resulted in a fast-growing way to get close to the massive animals cruising near our shores.

WCVB

A Great White shark right next to the boat.

A private charter tour in Chatham, Massachusetts, run by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, is where you’re almost guaranteed to see sharks thanks to the help of a spotter plane.

“By using a spotter pilot, for example, we keep these animals freely swimming and we’re able to observe them in their natural habitat,” said Maddie Poirier, a community educator with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy.

The spotter plane seen aboard the shark tour boat. It leads the boat to where sharks have been spotted from the air.

WCVB

The spotter plane seen aboard the shark tour boat. It leads the boat to where sharks have been spotted from the air.

They can even identify the shark if it’s already been tagged using a hydrophone.

“That high-pitched ticking is the noise that we’re looking for. So, this means that this shark is tagged,” said Poirier.

maddie poirier from the atlantic white shark conservancy points out a great white shark off the coast of chatham.

WCVB

Poirier drops a hydrophone into the water to detect the signal from tagged sharks.

That let her identify a shark just by the sound: in this case, it was a male named Scarface who, when he was tagged in July 2019, was about 12 feet long.

The ability to easily find sharks in the ocean off Cape Cod is tied to the growing seal population that continues to attract more sharks to the area. Data obtained by sister station 5 Investigates reveals there were 541 shark sightings this year through August, compared to 203 in the same time last year, a 167% increase. The conservancy said the increase could be a result of more eyes on the water, an increase in shark ecotourism and promotion of using the Sharktivity app to submit sightings.

August is typically the peak month for sharks on the Cape, followed by September and October.

August is typically the busiest month for shark detections. On the left, a map showing most of the shark sightings so far in 2022.

WCVB

August is typically the busiest month for shark detections. On the left, a map showing most of the shark sightings so far in 2022.

Capt. Devin Kahn said the shark trip is the company’s fastest-growing tour.

“These sharks are really cruising the shallow waters, and they’re they’re really cruising areas that the seals would be,” he said. “Everybody seems to really have a big interest in the sharks out here.”

Captain Devin Kahn said shark tours is the fastest growing tour.

WCVB

Captain Devin Kahn said shark tours is the fastest growing tour.

Research shows sharks are often in shallow water close to the shore. One of the many sharks spotted this day was in five feet of water, just 30 feet from the beach.

Poirier said the shark charters are opening people’s minds.

“We can change people’s misconceptions, and we can teach them something new,” she said.

Passenger Matthew Ellis was impressed.

“The fact that they’re able to actually put those sharks next to the boat, it’s pretty amazing,” Ellis said.

Watch the video above for the full story.



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