Chatham: East-facing Ocean Beaches closed due to white shark activity


5:00 p.m. E.S.T. August 29, 2012

Over the last several days, the Town of Chatham has received information from private parties, state division of marine fisheries and commercial fishermen that has led us to conclude that white shark activity has apparently increased in the vicinity of Chatham’s eastern, ocean facing beaches. These reports include the video posted on YouTube of a shark attacking a seal in the area of the South Tip of Monomoy (see here). Further, several fishermen have reported white sharks in their nets off-shore and the Division of Marine Fisheries while attempting to tag a shark in the vicinity of South Beach, reported white sharks close to shore in the vicinity of swimmers. Additionally, while the Division of Marine Fisheries was attempting to tag this shark, the spotter plane witnessed a white shark leaving Chatham Harbor through the 1987 inlet in North Beach east of the Chatham Lighthouse.

Given these latest reported developments, East facing ocean beaches will be closed from the Orleans/Chatham line south along Nauset Beach to Monomoy until further notice. People should be aware of their surroundings and not swim within 300 feet of seals. If a shark is sighted, exit the water and contact the appropriate department as listed below.

All other public beaches remain open to swimming, including Hardings Beach, Ridgevale Beach, Cockle Cove Beach, Forest Street Beach and Pleasant Street Beach along Nantucket Sound.

Media inquiries should be directed to the Dept. of Energy & Environmental Affairs at – (617) 626-1052 –
Reggie Zimmerman
Harbormaster — (508) 945-5185 (for shark sighting reports)
Parks & Recreation – (508) 945-5158 (for swimming and beach information)

Thank you for your attention.

Dan Tobin, Director of Parks & Recreation
Stuart Smith, Harbormaster


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