HARPSWELL — The Maine Department of Marine Resources continues to urge caution for people recreating in and around coastal waters, in light of new shark sightings.
“Two unconfirmed shark sightings yesterday plus one confirmed sighting of a great white shark today near Harpswell reaffirm our message that people need to use caution when recreating in or on the ocean,” said Maine Marine Patrol Major Rob Beal, in a news release.
Today’s report, July 31, of a shark near Pond Island Ledges, east of Bailey Island has been confirmed as a great white.
“We have notified the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry which has jurisdiction over nearby state beaches and parks,” said Major Beal. “We have also notified local municipalities of the reported sighting. We are recommending that people in Harpswell and surrounding communities exercise caution while recreating around the water. We urge swimmers and others recreating in or on the water, including people in paddle craft to avoid schooling fish and seals, which are prey for sharks.”
DMR continues to ask anyone who observes a shark to notify Marine Patrol immediately and to provide location information as well as photos if possible. Contact information for Marine Patrol is at maine.gov/dmr/marine-patrol/marine-contact.html
“It is the department’s plan to continue to closely monitor shark presence in our waters, to notify local municipalities and to work with DACF to make sure they have the information they need to take action to ensure the safety of visitors to Maine’s beaches and waterfront,” said Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher. “The reports we’ve received of sharks, combined with more observations of seals with injuries that are consistent with shark bites, plus data that confirms that sharks are active within the Gulf of Maine from Massachusetts to Nova Scotia means we will continue to emphasize caution for anyone recreating in and on our coastal waters for the remainder of the summer.”