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Sharks are not a threat to humans, shark expert says. But would he swim off Cape Cod? ‘I don’t want to risk it’

Those intimidating apex predators with sharp teeth are not a threat to humans, a shark expert stresses, but even though sharks are not a danger to us, the high-profile marine biologist says he won’t go for a swim in Cape Cod’s shark-infested waters.

David Shiffman, a marine conservation biologist who studies sharks and how to protect them, recently spoke at Harvard about shark science and conservation after he had just visited the Cape. He was asked whether he would go swimming in the ocean off Cape Cod.

Shiffman, while at the Cape, went over the tagged great white shark detection data close to shore. He was at Head of the Meadow Beach in Truro, where a scientist colleague pointed to a brown spot in the water — which is where the beach slopes down and the spot researchers track shark movements.

“‘I can tell you last week, 99% of last week, there was an adult great white shark within 50 feet of that spot,’ ” Shiffman said, relaying what his colleague told him.

“And you can’t see them at all,” Shiffman added. “So yeah, I did not go swimming.”

The marine conservation biologist at Arizona State University also gave a talk in Provincetown during his Cape visit. A surfer told him that he was getting pretty nervous about the shark situation there.

Shiffman told the surfer, “I’m not terrified of encountering sharks, but I don’t want to risk it.”

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