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This Memorial Day weekend, many beachgoers are likely to flock to the shores – but there will also be no shortage of the great white sharks that were recently spotted in New England, warn scientists from Massachusetts.

The New England Aquarium in Boston is urging the public to keep an eye out for sharks while enjoying the water to mark the unofficial start of summer, the nonprofit organization said in a press release Thursday.

Aquarium scientists said several marine mammals with shark bites were recently discovered off the coast of Massachusetts, the press release said.

Great white sharks are drawn to New England’s coastal waters to hunt seals and other marine life during the summer and fall when activity is at its highest, the aquarium said in a Facebook post. Scientists expect the shark population to increase as temperatures rise.

“Although scientists and fishermen have not photographed a great white shark this season, we know they are here,” the New England Aquarium said on Facebook. Aquarium officials added that hundreds of seals have recently been spotted on area beaches and two great white sharks were briefly spotted during an aerial survey off Monomoy Island in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Depending on the season, more than 15 species of sharks live in New England waters, the New England Aquarium said.

“This time last year, a great white shark ate a seal in front of some whale watchers,” John Chisholm, an associate scientist at the aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life, told CNN by email.

“May is usually the month when great white shark activity is at its highest, so it’s nothing unusual,” he said.

On May 21, 2024, a dead minke whale was spotted off Chatham, Massachusetts, after being bitten by a great white shark. – John ChisholmOn May 21, 2024, a dead minke whale was spotted off Chatham, Massachusetts, after being bitten by a great white shark. – John Chisholm

On May 21, 2024, a dead minke whale was spotted off Chatham, Massachusetts, after being bitten by a great white shark. – John Chisholm

A fishing company reported a minke whale bitten by a shark off Chatham, Massachusetts, earlier this week, and Chisholm took photos of a seal freshly bitten by a shark in Plymouth, Massachusetts, according to the aquarium.

“With beach weather forecast … this is a good reminder for people to review shark safety guidelines and be cautious around sharks,” Chisholm said in the news release.

According to the National Park Service, officials at Cape Cod National Seashore reported that sharks were active in the waters of all of the park’s beaches.

According to Chisholm, as of Saturday, the aquarium had reported four confirmed sightings of beluga whales this season.

The New England Aquarium urged visitors to watch for sharks in shallow waters, avoid areas where schools of fish or seals are seen, and stay close to shore so rescuers can assist if needed, the release said.

People who spot sharks can report sightings through the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy’s Sharktivity app, the conservation organization and aquarium said.

A 2023 study found that there was a superpopulation of about 800 great white sharks in the Cape Cod area between 2015 and 2018.

While the total number of unprovoked shark bites reported worldwide remains “extremely low,” according to the Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File, the number of deaths from unprovoked shark bites has increased over the past year, with most deaths resulting from bites by great white sharks.

Three of those deaths occurred in Australia and one person died in California, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History.

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