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Cape Town Meeting Rejects Shark Barrier By One Vote

May 15, 2019

Voters at Town Meeting in Chatham rejected a warrant article proposing to spend $100,000 to build a Jaws II-scenario shark barrier by one vote.

Supporters are worried that a great white shark might make its way from Nantucket Sound into Oyster Pond and an area known as Children’s Beach. One speaker said he saw two dead seals near the entrance of Stage Harbor, one with a large bite out of it, according to The Cape Cod Times.

Opponents said the likelihood of a shark navigating the narrow river that leads to Oyster Pond is so small that it doesn’t make sense to spend money on a study and a barrier.

The measure lost on 113-112 vote on Tuesday, May 14, according to The Cape Cod Times.

Sharks have been a preoccupation on the Outer Cape in recent years, especially since a great white shark seriously injured a man off Truro on August 15, 2018 and another great white shark killed a man off Wellfleet on September 15, 2018. They are attracted by a superabundance of seals.

One woman said during Town Meeting on Tuesday night seals have been seen in Oyster Pond in Chatham, which is at the elbow of Cape Cod.

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