Great white sharks have been spotted off the coasts of both Western Australia and Cape Cod.
Early Tuesday morning, a group of surf skiers were paddling off Mullalo Beach in Perth when one of the paddlers' narrow kayaks was attacked by a shark.
The attack threw the victim, Martin Kane, out of his vessel and into the water. His fellow paddlers came to his rescue and helped him safely get to shore, according to the Western Australia Department of Fisheries press release.
Kane was lucky to get away unscathed. His surf ski, which appeared to be bitten in half, was later recovered by the department and examined to determine the cause of attack.
"It wasn't possible to conclusively tell what type or size of shark it was that bit the surf ski, however, from how the paddlers in the group described the sharks' size and behavior there is some suggestion it may have been a white shark," said Shark Response Unit manager Michael Burgess, in the prepared statement.
Meanwhile, in the Atlantic Ocean, two great whites were detected off the coast of Cape Cod by acoustic receivers in early June.
According to Greg Skomal, senior biologist at the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, these two sharks found swimming in the region on June 8 had been tagged by the department just last year.
Skomal said the number of white sharks detected in the New England area has been increasing since 2008, as a result of the region's increased efforts to protect marine mammals.
"The elbow of the cape has these large, dense concentrations of gray seals now, and these white sharks go to the area to feed," he said. "Because the seals are so abundant, now the white sharks are paying more attention." Skomal said the gray seal population in Cape Cod has grown from 10,000 to over 300,000 since protections were put in place.
But the influx in population doesn't make it a seal feeding free-for-all for great whites.
"They eat one seal, it lasts them for 2 months. It's not like they need three square meals a day."
Skomal and his team have been tagging white sharks off the eastern seaboard, and particularly off Cape Cod since 2009.
"We actually tag the sharks while they're free swimming," he said of the process. "We place the tags while they're swimming in shallow water close to the boat."
Using a modified dart, Skomal and his team tag the shark's dorsal fin, in order to track its seasonal patterns of movement.
"It's kind of equivalent to getting your ear pierced," he said. "It doesn't have a lot of nerves or blood vessels, but there's lots of cartilage."
Skomal said beach goers need not worry about impending shark attacks. The seals are located in a national wildlife refuge that is difficult for people to get to.
"Sharks are not there to feed on people; they're there to feed on seals."