Cape Cod shark attack death is the first in 80 years but it likely won’t take another 80
Bottom Line: Sharks attacks will continue to rise... Here’s why.
Shark attack kills man off Cape Cod beach - Sun Sentinel
Hot Take: Over the weekend a man boogie boarding at Cape Cod beach was bitten and killed by what was most likely a Great White. A lot’s been made about the increasing numbers of Whites spotted off of the Cape and for that matter the migrations that we’ve become accustomed to in South Florida. A lot of theories have been floated about what’s going on but it’s pretty clear that it comes down to two significant changes. Increased awareness due to tagging and tracking. And dramatically increasing populations of sharks.
A couple of episodes in this year’s Shark Week lineup tackled this topic and it’s pretty evident what’s happening with White Shark populations. In recent years the biggest increase in sightings isn’t actually on our coast, it’s on the west coast near LA. Researchers found that sea lions and seals (main food source for whites) are using protected habitats to increase their numbers and attracting more sharks to those locations. Add in the protections for White Sharks and you’ve got a recipe for dramatically rising populations of sharks. While the research was conducted on the other coast it’s exactly the same thing that’s playing out near the Cape.
We have more people entering the water than ever before at the same time we having rising numbers of Apex predators. It’s an interesting dichotomy we have in the oceans right now. Many species of sharks are being over fished and potentially disrupting the natural food chain in the oceans at the same time that other populations are exploding. These types of changes are bound to bring about more “first in 80 year” types of outcomes.