Story at a glance

  • A whale-watching cruise off the coast of Cape Cod came across great white sharks feeding on the decomposing remains of a humpback whale.
  • Over the course of the next two days, a total of eight great white sharks, along with a number of other sharks, were spotted feasting on the carcass.
  • Researchers monitoring the area were able to tag five new great white sharks for further research.

Passengers on whale-watching cruise off the coast of Cape Cod got more than they bargained for when the ship came across great white sharks feeding on the decomposing remains of a humpback whale.

The crew of Captain John Boats filmed part of the feeding frenzy at the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary on Aug. 16 as those aboard the cruise watched the stunning feat of nature unfold.

“People on board were pretty excited,” the boat’s captain, John Goggin, told the Boston Herald. “There was a lot of yelling, ‘Oh my God! Wow!’”


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Over the course of the next two days, a total of eight great white sharks, along with a number of other sharks, were spotted feasting on the carcass. Researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and UMass Amherst were able to monitor the area and tag five new great white sharks for further research.

Some of the additional shark encounters and tagging process were filmed by the researchers and posted to the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries’ Facebook page.


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Published on Aug 30, 2021