Cape Cod Tourism Increases Thanks to Great White Resurgence

Jul 28, 2014 08:19 AM EDT | Matt Mercuro


Great white sharks have become a big draw for tourists in Cape Cod this summer, but thanks to the efforts of Captain Bill Chaprales and his son Nick, also known as the Cape Cod Hunters, scientists have been able to study one of the ocean's most feared species.

Chaprales and his son have been tagging great whites since 2009 by using a specialized pole that the captain created himself in order to "minimally harm the animal being tagged," according to the Cape Cod Shark Hunters website.

Cape Cod "is like the next great hot spot for great whites in the world," Chaprales said, according to the Inquisitr. "Every time we tag a shark, it's an unbelievable thrill. That kind of research, you've really got to continue for years." When it comes to studying Cape Cod's great white sharks, he says that "We're really just scratching the surface."

Chaprales and his son have been featured in Shark Week programs like "Jaws Comes Home" and "Return of Jaws."

The great white resurgence has been credited to a healthy population of seals in Cape Cod, along with years of conservation efforts designed to protect the species.

Chaprales has tagged 39 sharks since 2009 with a %100 success rate.

"We're seeing these sharks, and I'd say 90 percent, they aren't sharks we've tagged before," Chaprales said. "This isn't like a 'Jaws' movie, where the fins are out of the water. They're right on the bottom. I've probably only spotted three of them from the boat, in all those years. You need the plane. So they're pretty elusive that way."

Tagging white sharks isn't cheap however, as each radio tag costs $7,000.

Chaprales is also offering a shark spotting safari in order to raise money for the the nonprofit Atlantic White Shark Conservancy.

"If somebody wanted to do the trip, they'd donate to the conservancy, tax deductible," he said, adding that private charters aren't available.

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