A woman was fatally bitten by a great white shark Monday off the southern coast of Maine, the state's first ever deadly attack.
Since then, multiple dead seals have washed ashore with bites taken out of them, WGME reported.
New York City resident Julie Dimperio Holowach, 63 died Monday after a great white shark bit her while she was swimming about 60 feet off the coast of Bailey Island, WGME reported. The shark was identified from a tooth fragment left behind. Great white sharks are not commonly spotted in Maine waters.
It was the state's first deadly attack. There is one other previously recorded unprovoked shark attack in Maine from 10 years ago, CBS News reported.
After the attack, the Maine Marine Patrol canvassed the coast searching for sharks in the area.
The water temperature is about 4 degrees warmer than last summer, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute said. The warmer water might be enticing the predatory fish to the area. Conservation efforts also have helped the marine life populations rebound, wildlife officials said.
"(The) likely explanation for the recent increase in white shark sightings along the Maine coast is that both the white sharks and their main prey (seals) are protected and have been for quite some time," the Gulf of Maine Research Institute said.
The increased aquatic activity has now prompted officials to warn beachgoers to stay in shallow water at Popham Beach State Park, Reid State Park, Ferry Beach State Park and Crescent Beach State Park. They are also warning people to stay away from seals.
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