Around New England

Stocking Tourniquets At Cape Cod Beaches May Be In Order To Help Shark Attack Victims

November 15, 2018

Allowing enough seal hunting to reduce the draw of great white sharks to Cape Cod isn’t likely because animal rights activists and environmentalists put such emphasis on the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, federal officials said this week.

That federal law outlaws hunting of seals. The explosion of seals in recent years on Cape Cod has drawn large numbers of great white sharks who eat them – and who on occasion attack swimmers.

Two high-profile shark attacks were on the minds of residents who attended a forum Wednesday night in Orleans sponsored by Cape Cod National Seashore. A bodyboarder was bitten and killed by a great white shark in Wellfleet on September 15, while a swimmer was bitten and seriously injured in Truro on August 15.

Great white sharks are also protected by federal law.

The National Park Service closed national seashore beaches on the Cape 27 times this past summer, up from an average in recent years of 12 times, according to the Cape Cod Times.

So if the number of seals can’t be reduced, and the number of great white sharks can’t be reduced, what can be done to help people who visit the Cape Cod National Seashore?

The National Park Service is considering putting trauma kits at Outer Cape beaches with tourniquets and gloves so onlookers could help shark attack victims stop the bleeding and prevent shock, according to the Cape Cod Times.

Federal officials have also talked about using sonar buoys and drones to alert beachgoers to sharks, though it’s unclear when those measures may be taken.