This new app will let Cape Cod beachgoers know if there is a shark swimming nearby

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New App Helps Public Track Sharks Off Cape Cod



Great whites have been swimming near the coast of Cape Cod every summer since 2009. But this year, residents can use an app to track where these large sharks have been spotted.

The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy launched the app "Sharktivity" on July 1. It can be downloaded for free on iPhones. The app notifies beach goers when a shark has been spotted nearby. People can also report their own shark spottings to the app.

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The president of the conservancy said the app can be used to raise public awareness and can function as a beach patrol alert.

This summer, the first great white shark of this season was tagged on June 17 off the coast of Chatham, Massachusetts. The second shark was seen on June 20 off Nauset Beach. And, if last year is any indication, the citizens of Cape Cod should expect to see more great whites as the summer progresses.

The sharks often hunt off the coast of Cape Cod because of the area's large seal population. Last year, beaches were closed several times last season because groups of sharks were repeatedly seen approaching the shore.

But beachgoers shouldn't worry too much. According to the Florida Museum of Natural History, sharks killed only six people in 2015.

To help stave off any lurking fears you may have, though, Discovery Channel and NOAA Fisheries Service offer some helpful tips to avoid being attacked by a shark:

  • Swim in groups. Sharks are more likely to attack people swimming alone.
  • Avoid swimming at dawn and dusk, when sharks usually feed.
  • Don't enter the water with any kind of open cut.
  • Take off shiny jewelry before swimming. Jewelry looks like fish scales in the water, and it is more likely to attract sharks.
  • Try not to splash. Sharks may mistake all this splashing for an injured prey (in other words, an easy meal).

While it's easy to be afraid of sharks if you've seen Steven Spielberg's 1975 thriller "Jaws," swimmers really don't have too much to worry about. And "Sharktivity" will let you know if there is a shark nearby.

RELATED: Dr. Beach's top 10 beaches of 2016

11 PHOTOS
Dr. Beach's top 10 beaches of 2016
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Dr. Beach's top 10 beaches of 2016
This undated photo provided by the Kiawah Island Golf Resort shows sunrise as seen from Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Beachwalker is No. 10 on the list of best beaches for the summer of 2016 compiled by Stephen Leatherman, also known as Dr. Beach, a professor at Florida International University. (Kiawah Island Golf Resort via AP)
This undated photo provided by Visit Florida shows Caladesi Island State Park in Dunedin, Florida. The beach is No. 9 on the list of best beaches for the summer of 2016 compiled by Stephen Leatherman, also known as Dr. Beach, a professor at Florida International University. (St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area CVB via AP)
FILE - This May 13, 2010 file photo shows Coopers Beach in Southampton, N.Y. Coopers Beach is No. 8 on the list of best beaches for the summer of 2016 compiled by Stephen Leatherman, also known as Dr. Beach, a professor at Florida International University. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
FILE - In this May 22, 2012 file photo, a child chases a sea gull on Coronado Beach in Coronado, Calif. Coronado Beach is No. 7 on the list of best beaches for the summer of 2016 compiled by Stephen Leatherman, also known as Dr. Beach, a professor at Florida International University. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi, File)
This undated photo provided by Visit South Walton shows Grayton Beach on Florida's Panhandle on the Gulf Coast. Grayton Beach State Park is No. 6 on the list of top beaches for the summer of 2016 as compiled by Stephen Leatherman, also known as Dr. Beach, a professor at Florida International University. (David Bailey Photography/Visit South Walton via AP)
This undated photo provided by the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce shows Coast Guard Beach on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Coast Guard Beach is No. 5 on the list of best beaches for the summer of 2016 compiled by Stephen Leatherman, also known as Dr. Beach, a professor at Florida International University. (Margo Tabb/Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce via AP)
This undated photo provided by VisitNC.com shows a boy on the beach at Ocracoke on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach is No. 4 on the list of best beaches for the summer of 2016 compiled by Stephen Leatherman, also known as Dr. Beach, a professor at Florida International University. (Bill Russ/NC Department of Commerce via AP)
This undated photo provided by the Hawaii Tourism Authority shows a view of the Kapalua coastline in Maui, Hawaii. Kapalua Bay Beach is No. 3 on the list of best beaches for the summer of 2016 compiled by Stephen Leatherman, also known as Dr. Beach, a professor at Florida International University. (Tor Johnson/Hawaii Tourism Authority via AP)
FILE - This May 18, 2011 file photo shows the Siesta Key public beach in Sarasota, Fla. Siesta Key is No. 2 on the list of best beaches for the summer of 2016 compiled by Stephen Leatherman, also known as Dr. Beach, a professor at Florida International University. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)
In this May 11, 2016 photo, the sun rises over Oahu's Hanauma Bay near Honolulu. Hanauma Bay is No. 1 on the list of best beaches for the summer of 2016 compiled by Stephen Leatherman, also known as Dr. Beach, a professor at Florida International University. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
In this May 11, 2016 photo, people swim in Oahu's Hanauma Bay near Honolulu. Hanauma Bay is No. 1 on the list of best beaches for the summer of 2016 compiled by Stephen Leatherman, also known as Dr. Beach, a professor at Florida International University. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
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