HARPSWELL — The Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) continues to urge caution for people recreating in and around coastal waters following last week’s fatal shark attack, the first recorded in the state’s history.
“Two unconfirmed shark sightings (July 30) plus one confirmed sighting of a great white shark (July 31) near Harpswell reaffirm our message that people need to use caution when recreating in or on the ocean,” said Maine Marine Patrol Major Rob Beal. “We urge swimmers and others recreating in or on the water, including people in paddle craft, to avoid schooling fish and seals, which are prey for sharks.”
The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry has jurisdiction over state beaches and parks and posts daily beach condition reports on its website and Facebook page.
Anyone who observes a shark is to notify Marine Patrol immediately, providing location information and photos if possible. Officers in the Mount Desert Island area are Thomas Reardon (592-2937) and Jeffrey Turcotte (592-6348) and specialist Sean Dow (460-8791).
“It is the department’s plan to continue to closely monitor shark presence in our waters, to notify local municipalities and to work with DACF to make sure they have the information they need to take action to ensure the safety of visitors to Maine’s beaches and waterfront,” said Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher.
“The reports we’ve received of sharks, combined with more observations of seals with injuries that are consistent with shark bites, plus data that confirms that sharks are active within the Gulf of Maine from Massachusetts to Nova Scotia,” he continued, “mean we will continue to emphasize caution for anyone recreating in and on our coastal waters for the remainder of the summer.”