Cape Cod's waters are part of a natural and wild marine ecosystem with a rich diversity of sea life, including sharks. Seals are the major prey species for the great white shark, and as the seal population increases, the great white shark has become more numerous. There are confirmed reports of great white sharks feeding on seals close to shore. Spotter planes flying along the Outer Cape have also observed great white sharks near swimming beaches.
The national seashore is committed to continuing to explore ways to educate the public to help reduce risk when recreating in wild habitats. While it is rare for a great white shark to bite a human, since 2012, sharks have bitten people three times in the waters off Truro and Wellfleet. One bite in 2018 resulted in a fatality.
- Sharks have existed for more than 400-million years.
- As top predators, sharks are critical for maintaining a healthy and balanced marine ecosystem.
- Great white shark numbers have increased on the Cape because of a growing seal population which has rebounded after being hunted to near extinction.