Shark Detection Technology Buoys on Outer Cape

Doug Fraser With little fanfare, shark detection technology on Cape Cod took a small step forward last weekend off Newcomb Hollow Beach, the site of last year’s fatal shark attack on bodyboarder Arthur Medici.

Cape Cod and regional public safety officials have been hoping for years to employ a kind of souped-up version of what they already have, an acoustic receiver attached to a buoy that can not only detect signals from tagged great white sharks but relay an instantaneous alert to lifeguards and beach administrators.

One such device was deployed off Newcomb Hollow on Saturday, state shark researcher Gregory Skomal said, and two more will be placed offshore next week, one at Head of the Meadow Beach in Truro and the other at Nauset Beach in Orleans.

“The basic premise is that anytime a shark swims within range of a receiver it is detected. Only in this case, the data is forwarded as quickly as possible via a cellphone signal to whoever you want notified,” said Skomal, a senior scientist for the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries.