While commercial fishermen might not be affected, the Massachusetts government is adopting a new system for mitigating shark activity in the area. The Boston Globe reports that the Division of Marine Fisheries has established rules to ban activity that might draw the attention of sharks, unless those doing so have official approval. The source quotes state scientist Greg Skomal, who said that 60 or more great white sharks could appear off the Cape Cod coast this summer alone.
Although the press release from the Division announcing these rules says there will be no change to normal fishing and boating, it says the emergency series of rules will take effect immediately.
There is some leniency to the rules: a comment period is forthcoming, and any sharks caught accidentally by unlicensed fishermen or encountered by boaters won't constitute a violation. The Globe says that penalties could include criminal charges and fines.
The chief tenant of these regulations is the need for a "white shark permit," which will specifically allow holders to interact with sharks in various ways.
"The requirement for this new permit is designed with the specific goal of constraining certain activities designed to attract white sharks to persons, objects or vessels to protect the sharks and safeguard public health," the release said. "Examples of such activities include cage diving, shark chumming, baiting, and feeding, towing decoys, applying research devices on sharks, and attracting sharks to conduct these activities."
In addition to abiding by local laws, operators should use professional fishing boat insurance to help recover losses in the event of a disaster. Fishermen can purchase the correct policy to target all of the equipment they use as well, for a complete sense of compensation.