WELLFLEETâ Great white sharks don’t hook their fins when rescuers check in for the day.
Today, a group dedicated to safe ocean recreation says the new – and inexpensive – technology could provide an extra layer of protection for swimmers and surfers during unsupervised hours.
Cape Cod Ocean Community hosted a demonstration of the warning system which uses flashing red and white lights and an audible alarm Thursday morning at LeCount Hollow Beach.
The warning system mounted on private property on a dune above the beach is designed by Moosh Systems to go off whenever it receives a telephone notification that a marked great white shark has pinged a receiver in time real located on a buoy off the beach, Heather said. Doyle of Cape Cod Ocean Community.
âThis is another local opportunity to improve public safety,â she said.
The plan is to include the phone number for the Moosh Systems beacon in a call tree of organizations and individuals who are notified whenever a shark tagged by the Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Division approaches it. ‘one of the real-time receivers,’ Doyle said.
Currently, lifeguards or other public safety officials are notified when tagged sharks are detected by the five real-time receivers located off LeCount Hollow and Newcomb Hollow beaches in Wellfleet, Nauset Beach in Orleans, Head of the Meadow in Truro. and North Beach in Chatham.
Rescuers are also watching the shallow waters where great white sharks visiting Cape Town spend nearly half of their time, according to a multi-agency study released in March.
“When they’re not there,” Doyle said of rescuers, “nobody gets the information.”
The waters off Cape Cod are home to the largest population of great whites on the East Coast. Cape Town suffered the first shark death in Massachusetts in 82 years when Arthur Medici de Revere, 26, was killed while bodyboarding on September 15, 2018 at Newcomb Hollow Beach.
No one knows the exact number of great whites navigating Cape Cod waters to hunt seals, however, the Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Division has tagged 180, including a 12-foot male last week, the researcher said on state sharks, Greg Skomal.
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Tagged off Monomoy, it was the first great white shark to be tagged by state researchers this year and marks the great whites’ comeback in force in August, September and October, Skomal said.
He was not aware of the Cape Cod Ocean Community protest on Thursday, but said he would like to know more about it.
âAny kind of early warning system that we will support,â Skomal said. “I really like the idea of ââthis tag.”
People need to understand, however, that there are more sharks in the area than have been tagged, he said.
A study is currently underway to better understand the extent of the population.
Researchers have identified more than 400 great white sharks over the past five years, he said. But âthey are not there at the same time. They don’t come back every year.
Other organizations such as OCEARCH have also tagged sharks.
Doyle said she would like research organizations to share tagging information for the safety of recreational ocean users.
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The beacons developed by Wellfleet resident Kristian Sexton, who runs Moosh Systems, would cost a city or private organization about $ 3,000 to install.
“It’s an opportunity to be an affordable warning system,” said longtime surfer Bob Mei of Harwich.
âAt least it’s a good start.
Cape Cod Ocean Community board member and surfer James Papadonis of Brewster said he would like the detection system to extend to “all beaches in Orleans all the way to Race Point” in Provincetown .
Concerns about shark safety have grown since the first Cape shark attack in 2012 and intensified with the death of Medici. Just a month before the Medici attack, a 61-year-old Scarsdale man was seriously injured but survived after being bitten by a tall white man off Longnook Beach in Truro.
Last July, a New Yorker woman was killed in Harpswell, Maine, while swimming about 20 yards offshore – the first such attack in the state’s history.
Here in Cape Town, the shark detection arsenal currently includes observation planes, drones and boats.
Surfers are doing what they can to protect themselves, including installing shark deterrents on surfboards that make great whites’ electronic navigation worse, and painting the bottom of boards with white and black stripes designed to look like sea snakes and repel sharks.
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Wellfleet surfer Edward Redonnett said he could see a future in which surfers could wear waterproof watches that alert them when a great white is detected.
In the meantime, Redonnett has said he would like to see Moosh Systems’ beacons set up along the shore.
“I think it’s great. I would love to see more.
While it is not yet peak season for great white sharks, there are already many patrolling the waters off Cape Cod.
Peak predators started arriving in late May, Skomal said.
Rescuers have evacuated swimmers from the city water and Cape Cod National Seashore beaches due to shark sightings, and the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy’s Sharktivity app reported last month that a seal had been found on Race Point Beach in Provincetown with a shark bite.
Jody Craven, co-lifeguard manager for the City of Wellfleet, said he liked the idea of ââa beacon that alerts beach goers to the presence of tagged sharks when lifeguards are not on duty.
He said rescuers are currently receiving a text message and email on cellphones when a shark tagged by the state’s Marine Fisheries Division sends a signal to a real-time sensor on one of the buoys mounted just beyond the surf line.
âAny additional notification layer would be a good thing. ”
Email Cindy McCormick at [email protected]