Shark Seminar: Beachside Cape Cod Interns Educate Public On Great Whites

Photo: Kim Tunnicliffe / WBZ NewsRadio

CHATHAM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — With "Shark Week" in the coming days, some Cape Cod residents and tourists are getting a Great White Shark seminar beforehand, with booths set up on local beaches on the tip of Massachusetts' arm.

The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy says they have five college interns that are setting up stations at beaches in Truro, Wellfleet, and Orleans, to help educate the public about shark activity and research. Education Director MaryAnn Walsh told WBZ's Kim Tunnicliffe that the shoreline lessons are interactive experiences too.

"A big project they take on is our Shark Smart beach program, that's actually boots on the ground and answering the public's questions, They set up a booth on the beach, they have different educational props and tools they are able to engage the public with. They teach them about what's going on with white shark activity," Walsh said.

According to the AWSC, white sharks were designated a protected species in federal waters, and later marked the same in Massachusetts in 2005. Before then, officials say sharks were hunted for game, which cut down their numbers. Since then, shark sightings have become more common, which researchers attribute to their endangered designation and an increase in seal populations, their prey. These days, white sharks are considered part of a "vulnerable" species.

Read More: Cape Cod Study Finds Many Support Human Coexistence With Sharks, Seals

Inside the AWSC, Walsh says they are also looking for volunteers to help out around the museum, where families can watch short films and play games all concerning facts about white sharks.

WBZ's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports.

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