Chatham: The presence of sharks and tagging of 20 ft great white closes Lighthouse Beach


1:00 p.m. E.S.T. September 13, 2012

Note by SYM:  Please see also the related previous notice from August 29. Chatham: East-facing Ocean Beaches closed due to white shark activity

Effective immediately, by order of the Harbormaster, Lighthouse Beach is closed to swimming until further notice. Yesterday the Division of Marine Fisheries and Chatham Harbormaster personnel checked the receiver buoys located on Chatham Harbor buoys number 2 and 4 which are directly east of Lighthouse Beach in Chatham and have confirmed the presence of great white sharks within the harbor on August 30 and September 9, 2012. Additionally, this morning Division of Marine Fisheries personnel tagged an estimated 20’ great white shark leaving Chatham Harbor.

Given these latest reported developments, in addition to Lighthouse Beach, all east facing ocean beaches remain closed from the Orleans/Chatham line south along Nauset Beach to Monomoy until further notice.

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. People should be aware of their surroundings and not swim within 300 feet of seals. If a shark is sighted, please report sighting to the Harbormaster’s office as listed below.

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



  1. Angel

    A 20ft GWS leaving the harbour was tagged..
    That is a big shark.
    The shark activity in this region is alerting. More encounters as well as bigger sharks. Global warming, magnetic field changes, the salt density variations, sea temperature changes, the results of overfishing, sound waves, pollution and many more factors keeps changing the behavior and migration paterns of the animals. Especially the oldspecies.
    This is only what we can witness in the shores if we are able to notice them. I wonder what else is happening in vast open oceans to these animals…

  2. Dave

    Chatham has a protected seal population growing bigger every year.  The sharks have always been in New England waters.  Now the expanding seal population has provided a consistent and easy food source.  Enough with the global warming and sea temps affecting migration. Know the facts!

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