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A great white shark was spotted near a popular Kennebunkport beach on Thursday morning.
The Kennebunkport Police Department said Thursday that a great white shark was spotted about 11 a.m. around one mile off Goose Rocks Beach.
“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,” the Kennebunkport Police Department said.
The Maine coast is at the northern edge of the great white shark’s range, but the fish are not commonly spotted off Maine. There are two to three sightings of great white sharks off the Maine coast each summer, according to the National Oceanographic Data Center, with recent sightings near Stratton Island off Old Orchard Beach in 2018 and near Wells in 2017.
But a warming Gulf of Maine has lead some scientists to believe such sightings could become more common in coming years.
“If I was a betting person, I would suspect that in the next three or four years, or maybe sooner, there’s going to be a greater presence of these sharks up here,” University of New England marine scientist James Sulikowski told the Associated Press in late 2017. “Whether our area is sort of a stop-over and they spend a couple days here or a couple months is what we’re trying to figure out.”
But John Mandelman, the chief scientist at the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium, told the Associated Press in 2017 that it’s unlikely to see large numbers of white sharks off Maine because they tend to gather in big numbers in places where there are plenty of seals to eat, such as Cape Cod.
“With warming Gulf of Maine, there might be more of a prevalence of these animals, but they are still ultimately going to follow the food,” Mandelman said.