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Beachgoers Warned To Watch For White Sharks Over Holiday Weekend

As Memorial Day weekend signals the unofficial start of summer in New England, scientists from a Boston aquarium are urging beachgoers to report any sightings of white sharks.

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Scientists from a Boston aquarium are encouraging beachgoers to report any sightings of white sharks this Memorial Day weekend after signs of shark bites were found on several marine mammals.

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer in New England, and the region has already been enjoying beach weather. This is a prime reason to be vigilant for sharks, often known as great whites, said John Chisholm, an adjunct scientist at the New England Aquarium's Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life.

Recently, the aquarium received a report of a minke whale with a white shark bite off the coast of Chatham, Massachusetts. This is also the time of year when scientists expect to see sharks moving to inshore waters to hunt seals, the aquarium stated on Thursday.

"Although we haven’t seen a white shark just yet this season, we know they’re here," Chisholm said. “With beach weather in the forecast and Memorial Day weekend approaching, this is a good reminder for people to review shark safety guidelines and be shark smart.”

Chisholm advised beachgoers to be aware of the presence of sharks in shallow waters and to avoid areas where seals or schools of fish are visible.

The public can report sightings of white sharks using the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy's Sharktivity app. The number of shark sightings has increased in New England in recent years, sparking conversations and concerns among residents and visitors alike.

Efforts to better track white sharks are ongoing along the East Coast. The white shark conservancy announced last month that it had deployed its second camera tag on a white shark. These camera tags are vital for understanding the northwest Atlantic white shark population. The device was attached to the fin of a female white shark off the South Carolina coast, in collaboration with charter captain Chip Michalove.

“I never thought I’d be holding the dorsal fin of a great white shark and applying this type of technology,” Michalove said.