3 shark sightings reported in local waters

Screenshot from a video by Siobhan Lemire showing a shark swimming off Plum Island last weekend.

A video of a shark swimming not far off Plum Island last weekend took the internet by storm, but the city’s harbormaster said the animals are not uncommon in local waters.

Boston 25 News reported that Ipswich resident Michael Lemire was aboard a fishing boat with his family off Plum Island in “about 20 feet of water” recently when he captured a video of a shark circling his boat twice.

The animal in Lemire’s video was confirmed by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy to be a white shark that is close to 8 feet long.

Paul Hogg, the Newburyport harbormaster, said his office had reports of three shark sightings off local shores, with calls from several people about each. He said that no specific species for any of the incidents was confirmed by the Harbormaster’s Office.

Hogg noted that large schools of pogies or menhaden — a baitfish — have been coming close to shore near Plum Island, which could be drawing sharks and other predators to the area.

“The pogies are going right up by the beach in about 6 feet of water,” Hogg said. “There have been a few sharks, but we’ve also seen some big tuna. You’ll see the tuna slashing right through the pogies in the morning.”

Hogg noted that the area’s shark season is just starting. With water temperatures warming up, he expects there will be more of the usual white, mako and blue shark sightings to come.

“People should make sure they’re paying attention, and if they see something, notify us so we can keep track because we like to know, and obviously we don’t want anything to happen,” said Hogg.

 

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