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Shark sighting shuts down Cape Cod beach as summer heats up

Maybe this shark was just looking for some chums.

A Massachusetts beach was shut down for an hour over the weekend after the dorsal fin of a great white shark was reported off the Cape Cod shore -- an early reminder that the tourist haven is becoming a feeding ground for the sea's most fearsome predator.

A lifeguard on Nauset Beach spotted the shark’s tell-tale fin about 150 yards from shore on Sunday, said Harbormaster Dawson Farber of Orleans, Mass.

“The shape and color of the fin led him to believe that it was in fact a white shark,” Orleans Harbormaster Dawson Farber told local paper the Cape Cod Times.

The shark is thought to have been as much as 12 to 13 feet long, Farber told the paper, and looked to be headed toward Chatham, Mass.

Swimmers were allowed back into the water an hour after the sighting when no further sign of the shark was seen.

This is the first shark sighting of the year off Massachusetts, the Cape Cod Times reported, and follows last summer's shark activity there. In July, a man was bitten by a great white shark off Truro, marking the first confirmed shark attack on a human on Cape Cod since 1936.

Experts say federal protection has led to an explosion in the gray seal population has attracted the sharks.

Most beachgoers didn’t seem too concerned about the threat of a shark attack ruining their trip to the shore this summer.

“I’m anticipating that it will be a draw for people,” Farber told the Boston Globe. “We recognize the fact that there are sharks in the area, and we really feel the need to raise the education level of the people who come down here so they’re reminded that there is an inherent risk any time you go in the Atlantic Ocean.”