Air patrols will be buzzing over Truro beaches as shark spotters hunt for any of the nine great whites -- or others yet to be tagged -- that are circling off Cape beaches.
The search has intensified after a swimmer was bitten off Ballston Beach on Monday by what state experts are saying was a great white.
But the worst may be yet to come. More great white shark attacks in the seal-rich waters off Cape Cod are likely as the populations of both protected species continues to rebound, scientists warned.
"Unless there is a huge modification in human behavior," said George Buress, a shark researcher at the Florida Museum of Natural History and curator of the International Shark Attack File, "you can expect more attacks over time. It's something we can predict with some certainty unless people decide not to go in the water. We are not going to eliminate the situation."
Burgess warned there's no need to panic and begin clamoring for shark nets, like those that protect swimmers along shark infested shorelines in South Africa and Australia.
Simon Thorrold, an ocean ecologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, agreed that shark nets are not the answer to give swimmers peace of mind since they inadvertently kill thousands of "innocent bystanders" -- dolphins and other marine life -- along with sharks that get entangled in the mesh.
"With the expanding seal populations, we are going to have to get used to living with sharks because if the seals are here, then the white sharks are here, too," he said. "There is the issue of do we want to kill these white sharks or work out strategies to coexist? I think we have to come up with technologies that allow that to occur. ... We have to get clever about it."
Greg Skomal, a biologist with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and the state's leading shark expert, said shark nets also provide swimmers a false sense of security since sharks can swim around the barriers.
A better approach to protecting swimmers, he said, is using spotters in airplanes and perched in towers on the beach or atop dunes to look out for the telltale fins.
"Once a shark goes into a pattern of feeding, you will have time to see them. Sharks swim relatively slow looking for food," he said.
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