NANTUCKET, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — There has been a recent spike in shark sightings on the Cape and Islands, but officials on Nantucket are being particular on which sightings they confirm.
According to Nantucket Harbor Master Sheila Lucey, only sightings that they deem as being from "reliable sources" will be used to verify and confirm a shark sighting and subsequently close down a beach.
These reliable sources include lifeguards, ATV operators, police officers, fire personnel, or any other sources deemed reliable by Marine Division supervisors.
The harbor master cited mistaken sightings by beachgoers, saying often times these reports turn out to be basking sunfish.
A confirmed shark sighting results in either a one-hour beach closure if a shark is spotted out of a swimming area, or a two-hour closure if the shark is sighted in a swimming area. According to Lucey, the explosion in confirmed sightings in July has meant a lot of time away from the beach and a lot of complaints.
"43 confirmed sightings since last Wednesday," Lucey told WBZ. We had a lot of sightings in May and June, like 32, and then since last Wednesday it's really kinda taken off."
WBZ's Tim Dunn (@ConsiderMeDunn) reports.