On Tuesday, January 12, 2016, Cape Cod National Seashore hosted a shark work group meeting. The meeting brought together public safety professionals from Cape Cod National Seashore and the towns of Plymouth, Chatham, Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown, along with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, to continue to collaborate on shark knowledge and safety efforts.
Dr. Greg Skomal of Massachusetts Marine Fisheries presented the latest preliminary information of white shark movements, population study and predatory behavior.Dr. Alison Kock, Lead Scientist for the Shark Spotter Program, Cape Town, South Africa, gave an in depth look at the evolution, successes and challenges ofher cities shark spotter program.
Dr. Kock's visit was sponsored by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy.Workgroup members expressed their appreciation to Cynthia Wigren, President &Co-Founder of the Conservancy for her efforts to bring in Dr. Kock's expertise from a region of the world which has extensive experience with serious shark/swimmer interaction.Dr. Kock reviewed Cape Town's approach toward white shark species protection as well as public safety efforts.
Seashore Superintendent George Price said, "We very much appreciate the continuing efforts of the multi-town and agency shark work group to keep up with the latest information about white shark behavior near our swimming beaches and to learn from communities which have been dealing with white sharks for a long time.We are fortunate to have Dr. Skomal, Dr. Kock, and Ms. Wigren share their knowledge with this group."Members of this multi-town and agency group continue to share innovative ways to message shark safety to the public and learn from leading shark experts to inform us on the most current scientific information to help guide our proactive public safety education, awareness and response.
The national seashore, the towns of Cape Cod and the Islands, the Massachusetts Shark Research Program, and the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy have worked together to produce shark advisory signs for beaches, and brochures that provide education and safety tips for beach users.Brochures about shark information may be obtained at all National Park Service beaches and can be found seen on the park's website at nps.gov/caco.