Great White Shark Spotted Off Mass. Coast; No 'Threat' To Safety

BOSTON — The crew of the Gloucester-based tuna boat has made the first confirmed great white shark sighting of the summer in Massachusetts waters.

The crew of the Sweet Dream III spotted the juvenile shark, which is six to seven feet long and weighs about 150 pounds, Saturday while fishing on Stellwagen Bank about 25 miles off the coast.

The crew got video and photos of the shark and an expert confirmed that it was a great white. They also tagged it.

Greg Skomal of the Division of Marine Fisheries said it was the first great white sighting off the Massachusetts coast of the year.

A year ago, state officials were able to place more sophisticated electronic tags on five great whites spotted off Cape Cod, resulting in a wealth of new information about the migratory habits of the animals.

While the number of credible great white sightings has increased in recent years, officials are quick to point out that there have been no fatal shark attacks off Massachusetts in nearly 75 years.

"We don't believe (the shark) is a threat to public safety that people need to be day in and day out worrying about it," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles. "It's just something for individual beach managers and for individuals as they're swimming to pay attention to."

This program aired on June 28, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.


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