First Great White shark of season spotted on Cape Cod

Year's First Great White Spotted Off Cape Cod Coast
Year's First Great White Spotted Off Cape Cod Coast

The year's first great white shark sighting had beachgoers in Cape Cod packing up... and scientists heading out into the water.

Volunteer researchers from the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy spotted the female shark about a quarter-mile from the shore.

The group said it was a female, about 14 feet long and moving very, very slowly, according to one researcher, which made it easy to follow her for awhile. WBZ-TV reports her arrival comes 2 weeks earlier than last year's first great white sighting.

Volunteers just started studying how many great whites are in the Cape Cod area and how many return over the next 3 to 5 years.

Good news is great whites shy away from humans - but that makes it pretty hard for scientists to study them.

But, researchers say after years of decline, the population along the eastern U.S. is growing rapidly. They credit the surge to federal and state regulations put in place in the 90s to protect the sharks.