Sharks In Cape Cod: Everything You Need To Know About Them

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Amin Tawar

Sharks In Cape Cod
Sharks In Cape Cod: Everything You Need To Know About Them

Cape Cod is an island just off the coast of the southeastern corner of Massachusetts. Not only is the island known for its history, and maritime character but its beaches too attract heavy tourism, especially during the summer months. 

And recently, the island has been attracting another such creature ‘Sharks’. But how? Let us read on to find the answers to the shark’s sudden presence on Cape Cod.

Are There Sharks in Cape Cod?

Yes, there are Sharks in the Cape Cod. This has not only taken the state officials and the public by surprise but also the marine scientists. About a decade ago, our answer might have been different. Even shark experts who visited until 2010 didn’t see any sharks near Cape Cod. And they aren’t supposed to visit much too.

The peninsula’s coast is home to many sharks. But today one of the species is gaining fame. The peninsula’s eastern coast hosts are now one of the largest seasonal white sharks gathering and is the first type of such a hotspot in the North Atlantic. 

The only other places competing with Cape Cod are similar hotspots in Africa, central California, Guadalupe Islands in Mexico, and Neptune Islands in Australia.

Are There Sharks in The Cape Cod Canal and Bay?

Oh yes, Other than the great white sharks, the Cape cod canal and Bay also see an inflow of sandbar sharks, blue sharks, and thresher sharks. While white sharks reportedly leap out of water in cape cod bay to catch striped bass hooked on fishing lines, many tourist visitors visit the cape cod canal to catch spiny dogfish and porbeagle sharks.

Where Are the Most Sharks in Cape Cod?

Sharks In Cape Cod
Sharks In Cape Cod: Everything You Need To Know About Them

Although Cape Cod in itself, the canals, bays, and shores have a large population of sharks, most can be found in the outer cape beaches. In fact, these beaches have the highest inflow of white sharks and are the largest white shark hotspot in the world. 

Did you know, between 2012 to 2018, about 800 great white sharks visited these beaches? Sharks are more common in summer due to warmer weather which brings in all their prey closer to the shore.

Also, Check Our Guide On Sharks In Long Island

What Kind of Sharks Are on Cape Cod?

If you haven’t already realized from the previous section, then let me put it out for you. Yes, like some of you who have guessed, the great white sharks are the most common species of sharks that visit Cape Cod and especially in summer between May to November. We’ll get into the reasons in the later sections and so keep an eye out for it. 

Other sharks that can be seen include the slender and fast-swimming blue shark, the shortfin mako shark, which is the fastest shark in the world, the fearsome looking yet docile sand tiger shark, the small spiny dogfish shark, the year-long found porbeagle shark, thresher shark, dusky shark, and the rare hammerhead shark.

Which Part of Cape Cod Has the Most Sharks?

As already mentioned, Cape Cod beaches are a common destination for most sharks and especially the great white sharks which visit in large crowds. But the area that has seen a large increase in shark activity among the rest is the beaches around Chatham on the eastern side of Cape Cod. 

These include Nauset Beach, and Monomoy Island which are known to have higher shark sightings. 

Note that shark activity may vary from year to year, and they may shift their locations depending on a range of factors. So, always check in with the local lifeguards, marine associations, and local authorities on respective Cape Cod beaches for accurate and current information. 

Why Does Cape Cod Have So Many Sharks?

Cape Cod has so many sharks especially the great white sharks due to two main reasons. One is climate change which has incidentally not only created havoc for human livelihood what with the rise in natural disasters but has also greatly affected other lives as a result. 

As the earth is getting warmer, the ocean water temperatures and currents change affecting the distribution of sharks and their prey. Now, the second reason is a little bit connected to this. 

But before we get into it, let us discuss about seal population in Cape Cod. These creatures were extensively hunted until protected by US Marine Animal Protection Act in 1972. 

This helped these creatures recover and multiply in numbers. And this here, my folks are the second reason for the frequent visitations by the great white sharks. If you didn’t know, seals are the favorite prey of great white sharks and the rise in their numbers across the coast is driving them towards it.

Can You Swim in Cape Cod?

Yes, You can swim in Cape Cod. But be careful and follow the precautionary measures set by the local authorities and lifeguards. Remember, you wouldn’t be the only creature swimming in the ocean. Sharks may sometimes visit uninvited. 

Avoid swimming in the ocean during dawn and dusk when these creatures are pretty frequent, and we humans have the lesser advantage. Always swim in groups and limit splashing and wearing flashy jewelry.  The beach flag warning system is there for a reason and so make yourself familiar with it. Follow these tips and have a fun swim in the ocean!


And that was everything you need to know about the Sharks in Cape Cod. I hope this article answered all your queries.

Our Source For This Guide.

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