Technology Making Shark Sightings Off Cape Cod Waters More Accurate
With all the shark activity off Cape Cod waters so far this season, its no wonder the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) has added extra technology to make sightings even more accurate.
This past weekend alone, Cape Cod waters had 12 reported shark sightings from Provincetown to Chatham, some as close as 50 yards offshore. The newly updated Sharktivity App has been allowing beachgoers to report their sightings all summer, but new technology in the water is making things even more accurate.
Just recently MassWildife teamed up with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy to install two acoustic receiver buoys off Wellfleet beaches. One floats offshore at Newcomb Hollow and the other is at Lecount Hollow/Maguire Landing. Both transmit extremely accurate data right to area beach staff.
Last summer several of these buoys were deployed by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy all across the Cape coastline, but the Wellfleet buoys seem to be new this season.
Perhaps it's the growing amount of shark activity in the area that made these buoys necessary or the tracking devices already placed in white sharks showing researching this is a popular area. Whatever the reason, the buoys are now active, making Cape Cod beach visits much safer.
No word on where the next buoys might be deployed, but if more sharks swim along the SouthCoast (like last week's Westport shark visit) perhaps we'll have buoys in our neck of the woods before the summer is over.
The buoys' technology is extremely helpful to lifeguards on shore since they can tell you when a tagged shark is swimming off the coast and where it might be headed. Beach staff can then use that date to fly the appropriate shark flag to let beachgoers know what is going on.
What Shark Flag Colors Mean
Black shark flag + red flag = A tagged shark pinged the buoy and the sighting was confirmed by beach staff on shore. Do not enter the water
Purple shark flag + yellow flag = A tagged shark has recently left the area. You may go in the water but proceed with caution.
Purple shark flag = There is a risk of sharks at this beach. You may go in the water but do so with the risk of sharks in mind.
Wondering what these buoys look like and how they work? Wellfleet lifeguards paddled out to one to give people a great view of these shark warning devices.