While its still pretty rare to see sharks off the southern coast of Maine, it does happen. And it seems like it may become a more frequent trend, as the ocean waters warm, or so many scientists say.

Earlier this summer, video of a basking shark in the waters off Cape Neddick Lighthouse in York surfaced on FaceBook and ultimately made it to the local news. And according to Thursday's Bangor Daily News, a great white shark was spotted off Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport  around 11 in the morning. The article says the police department even issued a warning for folks heading out to the water “While the beach is some what protected, it is important for beach goers to be informed and maintain awareness while in and around the water.”

Of course when someone sees a fin in the water, or a shadow beneath the waves, it can create a sense of panic. And because, whether due to a heightened awareness thanks to things like technology and the ever popular "Shark Week" programming, people seem to be quick to see and report these sightings, some towns, like Wells, have even gone so far as to create a Marine Animal Identification Index to help people, namely ocean lifeguards, to determine if what they're seeing is a potential threat or something less sinister. "These are some of the most common large species that could be found at Wells Beach, however the ocean is very vast and events such as storms and current changes can throw off many different sea animals feeding patterns. It is because of this that certain fish may enter our water and others may leave. It is highly important to be able to recognize a threat at any point and to be able to distinguish a life-threatening predator from a nonthreatening one. In all cases, precautions will be taken if the species is not obvious to identify, and the lifeguard captain will initiate the appropriate measure of the shark plan. "

You should always be aware of your surroundings when heading out into nature, especially around the water. My guess is folks will be on extra guard this week!





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