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Video Of Cape Cod Man Hooking A Great White From The Beach Has Me Pretty Content With Never Going In The Ocean Again

NBC Boston - Matt Pieciak and his friends were having a day at Nauset Beach, casually cracking a beer and casting a line, when he wound up hooking a great white shark Sunday.

"We started having some beers and I think we were playing corn hole and I saw the rod start to bend over my cousin's shoulder," Pieciak said. "That's when I ran by him and just kind of shoved my drink in his chest and said, 'Hey, hold this.'"

The 25-year-old from Orleans briefly wrestled the shark as it thrashed on the line at the water's surface. Then it snapped. Pieciak’s cousin captured the moment on video. 

"The shark I don't even think would have felt the line, to be completely honest," Pieciak said. “I didn’t stand a chance against that, no way. Those things are the size of boats.”

It was meant to be just another weekend at the beach. Pieciak and his family were excited to take out his camper he built during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s just a great way to spend the summer,” Pieciak said.

Pieciak said he’s well aware sharks are a common sight at Nauset Beach in Orleans but never imagined he would come so close to one off the shore.

It was his second time catching a great white shark; the first time was on a boat with his family out at sea, Pieciak said. But he’s not afraid of being near sharks and said this incident will not keeping him from returning to the beach.

Listen, there are a ton of things I miss about living on the East Coast. 

The seafood. The Italian food. The pizza. Some of my family members. Wachusett Blueberry Ale. The girls that are 6s but carry themselves like they're 10s. I could go on and on. 

But one thing that I thought I would always miss but I've slowly grown out of has been the ocean. 

Before you cut my head off, I fucking love the ocean and everything about it. I just have no desire to submerge myself in it any longer. 

Love the saltwater, love deep sea fishing, love the smell of the coast, love the beaches, dunes, seagrass, all of it. 

But being in the midwest so long now, and getting to enjoy all that the Great Lakes, and even the regular lakes we have out here (and there are a ton) has converted me into a lake man. 

This video of this maniac reeling in a Great White on good old Nauset Beach has just further solidified my stance on the matter.

Don't let JAWS fool you, Cape Cod used to be the last place you'd have to worry about encountering a man-eater. But now they're everywhere. 

We all know the science behind it. Global Warming and Climate Change have disrupted the water temperatures and jetstreams, the cold water that used to be so far down below has no risen to the tops and screwed everything up ecosystem-wise. The fish that seals feed on have now migrated north. The seals in turn followed. And since seals are shark food, the sharks have followed.

I was at a wedding in Chatham 3 years ago. We're on the beach having some drinks and I decide to go cool off in the water. It didn't occur to me that I was the only person in the water on a really nice beautiful beach, filled with people. There I am minding my own business up to my waist in the water when a lady from the hotel came sprinting down to the beach screaming like her hair was on fire for me to "get out!"

I got out of the water and she told me, between catching her breathe, that there was a great white in the water there yesterday and that they'd been all over the coast that entire month. My friends' buddy pulled up an app that tracks them and they were fucking everywhere. 

So yah, long story short, I think I'm good living the lake life from here on out. Sure you don't float as easily (you actually sink like a cinderblock), there's no shellfish to be had, and the fish aren't nearly as good, but you don't have to worry about ending up as chum.

Also, we've got some pretty incredible lakes up here

Torch Lake is surreal.

p.s. - throwback to one of the greatest videos in internet, and Barstool history. The Fall River sea monster

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+++++++ UPDATE +++++++

Never thought a blog about sharks off the coast of Massachusetts would devolve into a debate about global warming but here we are. Apologies to those more educated than me out there. First person to admit when I'm wrong, and in this case, I had zero clue about the Marine Mammal Protection Act protections put in place to ban seal hunting that's lead to their big-time resurgence. 

So upon researching it, I found the following -

Bangor Daily News - No one questions that seal and shark numbers are on the rise, mostly due to federal protections. It’s estimated there are as many as 50,000 gray seals in New England waters plus a lesser number of harbor seals. The animals were almost eliminated through hunting and bounties decades ago.

But experts maintain there is not enough science to determine whether the current population is too big and little basis for culling the marine mammals. Even suggesting seals are destroying fisheries or are solely to blame for shark attacks is not supported by hard evidence. Experts say warming waters and other factors also could be playing a role. The Gulf of Maine, which stretches from Cape Cod to Nova Scotia, has been heating up faster than 99 percent of the world’s oceans.

Cape Cod Times - Seals move around to forage and spend significant amounts of time in the water, making it hard to estimate their numbers. Seasonal changes in gray and harbor seal abundance outside of the breeding season are unknown. Population numbers have been increasing since federal regulations protecting marine mammals were put in place in the 1970s. A 2016 study estimated 30–50,000 animals at various times in southeastern Massachusetts.

Culling has been tried in the past (U.S. and elsewhere) and was shown to be ineffective. Gray seals from Canada continuously supplement seals in the United States, so seals that are removed will just be replaced by animals from other regions.

NRDC.org - In 1972, the Marine Mammal Protection Act made killing gray seals and other marine mammals illegal, and since then, the Cape’s seal population has rebounded to as many as 50,000. In addition to the seals being part of the Cape’s food web, evidence suggests that the animals play a role in transporting nitrogen and other nutrients out of the sea and onto shore via their excrement.

Insider - Although these sharks have occupied waters off of Maine and northern Canada for thousands of years, one trend may increase the likelihood of unfortunate encounters: Oceans are heating up.

"Global climate change has prompted warmer water temperatures farther northward," George Burgess, former director of the Florida Program for Shark Research, told Business Insider. That leads more members of cold-water-loving species, like great whites, to travel farther up, where water is cooler.

That could mean more fin sightings — and possibly attacks.

Great whites will be "found more commonly in Maine waters in the years ahead," Burgess predicted.

Sharks rely on the water temperature to regulate their body heat. But oceans absorb 93% of the excess heat trapped on the planet by greenhouse gases. The year 2018 was the hottest on record for the world's oceans, and that change impacts the ranges of marine animals. 

"I think it is highly likely that warming waters will result in the northward movement of sharks in the Northern Hemisphere that were previously restricted to more southern latitudes," Gavin Naylor, the current director of the Florida Program for Shark Research, told Business Insider via email.

 "We have incontrovertible data that show these kinds of patterns in Australian waters," he added.

Warming waters aren't the only reason for an increase in human-shark encounters, though.

In Massachusetts, the presence of more great whites is likely a consequence of ballooning populations of grey and harbor seals, Burgess said.

VOA News - The debate over seals became stronger after the death in July of a swimmer. The swimmer was killed by a great white shark near Harpswell, Maine. Seals are often eaten by sharks, and some experts believe Julie Dimperio Holowach may have been mistaken for a seal.

There could be as many as 50,000 grey seals in New England waters. The animals were once rare because of aggressive hunting.

But experts believe there is not enough science to make an effective decision about whether the current population is too large. They say there is little reason for culling, or killing, the animals.

Experts also say there is a lack of clear evidence that seals are destroying fisheries or are totally to blame for shark attacks. Warming waters and other issues could also play a part. The Gulf of Maine, which goes from Cape Cod to Nova Scotia, Canada, has been heating up faster than most of the world’s oceans.

Modern Conservationist - Great white sharks are recovering, too. “I think the recovery is linked to the 1997 prohibition on retention [mandatory release] as well as severe regulations on longline fisheries,” says Dr. Greg Skomal, Recreational Fisheries Program Manager for the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. “Mostly they were victims of bycatch in expanding commercial longlines targeting tunas and swordfish but sharks as well.”

Is the recolonization of gray seals helping with white shark recovery? It seems likely, but confirming data aren’t in.

What’s definitely recovering, though, is the marine ecosystem. Roman offers this: “Certainly sharks are responding to a resource that’s been absent for a long time. This has been amazing to watch. For some of us it’s cause for celebration.”