When people think, “Massachusetts,” most people don’t think, “shark.”As the weather gets warmer, many sharks migrate to New England waters. Consequently, as the ocean doubles as our playground and their home, we at the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) have provided information and a few tips to remember to keep both us and the sharks safe.
Some of the migratory species that travel here include the blue shark, shortfin mako, common thresher, basking shark, sand tiger, and great white shark. In our warmest months, tropical species such as the hammerhead shark and the tiger shark can make an appearance. Depending on species, their habitat can range from our nearshore coastal waters to the offshore, deep waters of the continental shelf.
Despite popular belief that sharks will eat anything and everything, most sharks have a very selective diet. Fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and seals are the most common choices; humans don’t make the list. Great white sharks especially, though they are thought to be aggressive, keep to themselves for the most part. That being said, sharks can be aggressive if threatened, so it is important to never approach one.
We urge the public to use their common sense, and always be aware of their surroundings. Avoid swimming at dusk or dawn, in very deep waters, or in areas of seal congregation. Stay close to shore and stay alert. If you’ve seen a shark in coastal waters, please contact DMF immediately.
“Fun in the sun,” is the trademark of summer; Massachusetts has a variety of coastal areas to take advantage of this season. However, it’s important to remember that we share our waters and our world. Always consider the different animals that live and visit the Commonwealth, and your oceanic experiences will be all the better! Check back on the blog to learn about more seasonal tips and tricks!
The Turtles are Coming posted on Aug 29
With a migration pattern that stretches thousands of miles, it is no surprise that Massachusetts is home to four types of turtles during the summer, all of them protected by local and international law. And while you probably know that sea turtles often frequent the Massachusetts beaches, can you identify them?
2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: August posted on Aug 25
Augusts’ Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar Photo Contest winner was Cara Peterson, who photographed a high tunnel greenhouse at Flats Mentor Farm in Lancaster.
Not From Around Here: Green Crabs posted on Aug 22
As part of its work to assess salt marsh health, staff from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) have frequently observed abundant green crabs, often burrowing in the banks of marsh creeks. This summer, CZM is examining the potential impacts of green crabs in salt marsh habitats, including the impact of burrowing activity.