Great White Sharks bringing tourism to Cape Cod
While the sight of a Great White Shark would usually scare people away from the coastlines, many tourists across Massachusetts are flocking to Cape Cod for the chance to witness these ferocious giants of the sea.
The opportunity to see these animals in their natural habitat is having a significant impact on the tourism of Chatham, with sales of shark t-shirts in particular increasing by over 500 per cent.
Although people are rushing to the town, harbourmasters have continued to issue warnings about swimming in the waters – even if you have taken out one trip travel insurance prior to your holiday.
Great White Shark levels on the rise
Although the levels of Great White Sharks have suffered in recent decades, a recent report has suggested the numbers are beginning to surge across Eastern USA and Canada, with a greater level of prey and conservation efforts both being attributed to the changing of fortunes.
This rise in numbers has understandably led to an increase in the amount of sightings in the region, with more than 20 individual sightings in recent years; before 2004, the region would be lucky to benefit from two each year.
Gregory Skomal, a senior marine fisheries biologist and head of the Massachusetts Shark Research Program, said that the sharks are coming closer to shore to feed on the seals, meaning that people have an even better chance to admire them from up close.
A creature typified by the 1975 box-office film Jaws, the Great White is an iconic species and sightings never fail to draw attention from crowds. Growing to more than eight metres in some cases, humans are not the preferred prey of the Great White Shark despite the species being depicted as a ferocious man-eater in the aforementioned film.
Attacks from animals are not usually covered through your medical travel insurance cover, so although such sightings of wildlife may be a great reason to visit a country, make sure to stay safe and be responsible around wild animals.
Image Credit: Lwp Kommunikáció (Flickr.com)