First Great White Spotted off Cape’s Atlantic Coast This Year As Study Begins

Courtesy of the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy.  Researchers spotted a large great white shark off the coast of Orleans on Sunday.

Courtesy of the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy.
Researchers spotted a large great white shark off the coast of Orleans on Sunday.

ORLEANS – The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy is partnering with the state Division of Marine Fisheries shark expert Dr. Gregory Skomal on a major study to try to determine how many sharks are off the coast of Cape Cod.

Researchers from the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy spotted a great white shark off North Beach in Orleans Saturday. The shark was the first of the season spotted on the Atlantic Ocean side of Cape Cod.

A great white shark was spotted in Cape Cod Bay earlier in June.

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Staff from the agency identified the shark spotted off Orleans as a 12- to 14-foot long female.

Researchers named her Ping.

Wayne Davis, a pilot, was the first to spot the shark.

Skomal was scheduled to join the group to begin the shark study earlier this morning. Ping was not tagged since Skomal was not aboard the boat.

Because she was not tagged, she  is not part of the Massachusetts Shark Research Program great white shark population study.