Around New England

Cape Town Officials Want Shark Barrier Between Ocean and Inland Bay

February 26, 2019

It’s like a scene out of Jaws II:  A great white shark enters an inland bay through a channel and attacks children having fun in what looks like a safe area.

That’s what town officials in Chatham are fearing this coming summer, and it’s why they want a barrier between Nantucket Sound and Children’s Beach at the eastern end of Oyster Pond, where seals have become prevalent in recent years, according to The Cape Cod Times.

Among the approaches Chatham officials are considering are “floating plastic ribbons that resemble a kelp forest, a magnetic barrier, curtains of bubbles, an array of poles, and both rigid and flexible netting,” according to the Cape Cod Times, along with sonar buoys whose maker claims can detect “the unique swim patterns of various shark species.”

Thousands of seals come to Cape Cod each summer nowadays, bringing what researchers say are hundreds of great white sharks looking to eat them. During the summer of 2018 one man was bitten and seriously injured by a shark in Truro, four towns north of Chatham, and another man was bitten and killed by a shark in Wellfleet, just south of Truro.

If a shark attack in an inland waterway sounds far-fetched, it happened in Mattawan Creek on the Jersey Shore on Wednesday, July 12, 1916, when a shark killed an 11-year-old boy and a 24-year-old man who tried to save him.

They were two of the five victims (four killed, one injured) of the Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916, which inspired the novel (and later movie) Jaws.

Below is an image of part of a day-after news story about the Mattawan Creek attack from The Daily Home News of East Brunswick, New Jersey:




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