jueves, 27 de septiembre de 2012

Japan Escalates Politically Motivated Attacks Upon Eco-Hero Captain Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd

Captain Paul Watson
FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash. — September 16, 2012 — Interpol reports it has issued a second `red notice' to its member nations for Captain Paul Watson — iconic marine conservationist and founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and focus of the hit docu-reality TV series "Whale Wars." This notice was issued at Japan's request and was clearly filed in retribution for the eco-hero and his nonprofit's successful interventions against Japanese whaling in an established, internationally designated whale sanctuary.

Captain Watson's first `red notice' was issued in August at Costa Rica's request after he was arrested in Frankfurt on May 13 on a 10-year-old warrant from Costa Rica while en route to Cannes, France. He forfeited his bail and departed Germany on approximately July 22 after being held there under house arrest for 70 days, and is now in an undisclosed location. Captain Watson was being detained in Germany for extradition to Costa Rica for a previously alleged "violation of ship traffic," which reportedly occurred during the 2002 filming of the award-winning documentary, "Sharkwater." The so-called "violation" occurred during the course of Captain Watson enforcing the law at the request of the Guatemalan government against illegal shark-finners whom just the year prior had been charged and found guilty of the same crime.

According to Interpol, Captain Watson is being sought for prosecution by Japan on charges of `Breaking into the Vessel, Damage to Property, Forcible Obstruction of Business, and Injury' pertaining to two incidents that occurred in the Antarctic Ocean in February 2010 against a Japanese whaling ship. However, the extradition `red notice' from Japan is based solely on the testimony of a former Sea Shepherd associate in a plea bargain deal he made to avoid serving prison time in Japan. In essence, Japan, who has been after Captain Watson for years, found a turncoat in the former associate, who swapped his own head for Captain Watson's.

According to legal counsel for Captain Watson, filing for this `red notice' with Interpol on the heels of Costa Rica's request absolutely confirms the organization's strong suspicions that, due to Sea Shepherd's sweeping success in protecting whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, Japan is also behind the Costa Rican warrant to have Captain Watson extradited.

"News of the filing of the requested `red notice' from Japan does not come as a surprise," said Susan Hartland, Administrative Director of Sea Shepherd. "This is simply indicative of the lengths to which Japan will go to plunder our oceans. We have been expecting this for weeks and our legal counsel is already challenging these retaliatory, politically motivated, bogus charges to get them dismissed," she added.

Hartland went on: "None of these charges held up in court when Japan's Institute for Cetacean Research (ICR), a front for the nation's commercial whaling endeavors, tried to bring suit against Sea Shepherd in the U.S. In fact, the judge ruled against them in the preliminary injunction in February. The Japanese whalers sliced the Ady Gil vessel in half and almost killed six of our volunteer crew and have never had to answer for any of those actions, yet they dare accuse Sea Shepherd of wrongdoing."

Sea Shepherd has challenged Japan in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary for eight seasons and is currently preparing to head to Antarctica for a ninth year with a bigger and stronger fleet than ever before, which includes a new vessel. "The Japanese whalers are sorely mistaken if they think another `red notice' is going to stand in the way of Sea Shepherd's defense of the whales this season," Hartland said. "It will in no way impact Sea Shepherd's next Antarctic campaign, Operation Zero Tolerance, whose goal it is to send the whaling fleet home with zero kills."

• An Interpol `red notice' is not an international arrest warrant. It merely heightens awareness of the Japanese warrant in the form of a notice to its member nations. Member nations may or may not abide by the notice at their discretion; it is not a warrant in itself.

• The specific incident relating to the Japanese warrant relates to an incident in 2010 when former crew member Pete Bethune boarded a Japanese whaling vessel to confront the captain who sliced his ship the Ady Gil, operating on behalf of Sea Shepherd, in two, despite Captain Watson's advice to Bethune not to do so. The impact injured a cameraman, nearly drowned the other crew members, and destroyed a $1.5 million dollar vessel, for which Japan has not even been questioned.

• The specific incident relating to the Costa Rican warrant took place in Guatemalan waters in 2002, when Sea Shepherd encountered an illegal shark-finning operation run by the Costa Rican vessel, the Varadero I. On order of Guatemalan authorities, Sea Shepherd instructed the crew of the Varadero I to cease their shark-finning activities and head back to port to be prosecuted. While escorting the Varadero I back to port, the tables were turned and a Guatemalan gunboat was dispatched to intercept the Sea Shepherd crew. To avoid the Guatemalan gunboat, Sea Shepherd then set sail for Costa Rica, where the crew uncovered even more illegal shark-finning activities in the form of dried shark fins by the thousands on the roofs of industrial buildings.

About Captain Paul Watson

Sea Shepherd Founder and President Captain Paul Watson is a world renowned, respected leader in environmental issues. He was a co-founder of Greenpeace, has won countless awards for his decades of conservation work, and in 2000 was named one of Time Magazine's Top 20 Environmental Heroes of the 20th Century.

About Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an international non-profit conservation organization whose mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world's oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species. Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately balanced oceanic ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations. Visit www.seashepherd.org for more information.

lunes, 24 de septiembre de 2012

An international research team, led by Institute of Oceanology of Chinese Academy of Sciences and BGI

Shenzhen, CHINA – An international research team, led by Institute of Oceanology of Chinese Academy of Sciences and BGI, has completed the sequencing, assembly and analysis of Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) genome—the first mollusk genome to be sequenced—that will help to fill a void in our understanding of the species-rich but poorly explored mollusc family. The study, published online today in Nature, reveals the unique adaptations of oysters to highly stressful environment and the complexity mechanism of shell formation.

"The accomplishment is a major breakthrough in the international Conchological research, with great advancement in the fields of Conchology and Marine Biology." said, Professor Fusui Zhang, Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and a well-known Chinese Scientist of Conchology, "The study will provide valuable resources for studying the biology and genetic improvement of molluscs and other marine species. "

Oysters are a soft-bodied invertebrate with a double-hinged shell, which make up an essential part of many aquatic ecosystems. They have a global distribution and for many years they have much higher annual production than any other freshwater or marine organisms. In addition to its economic and ecological importance, the unique biological characteristics of oyster make it an important model for studying marine adaptations, inducing a great deal of biological and genomics research. The completed sequencing of oyster genome will provide a new horizon into understanding its natural mechanisms such as the adaptations to environmental stresses and shell formation, better exploration of marine gene resource, , among others.

Unlike many mammals and social insects, oyster as well as many other marine invertebrates is known to be highly polymorphism, which is a challenge for de novo assembling based on current strategies. In this study, researchers sequenced and assembled the Pacific oyster genome using a combination of short reads and a "Divide and Conquer" fosmid-pooling strategy. This is a novel approach developed by BGI, which can be used to study the genomes with high level of heterozygosity and/or repetitive sequences. After data process, the assembled oyster genome size is about 559 Mb, with a total of ~28,000 genes.

Based on the genomic and transcriptomic analysis results, researchers uncovered an extensive set of genes that allow oysters to adapt and cope with environmental stresses, such as temperature variation and changes in salinity, air exposure and heavy metals. For example, the expansion of heat shock protein 70 (HSP 70) may help explain why Pacific oyster can tolerate high temperatures as HSP family is expanded and highly expressed when in high temperature. The expansion of inhibitors of apoptosis proteins (IAPs), along with other findings, suggested that a powerful anti-apoptosis system exists and may be critical for oyster's amazing endurance to air exposure and other stresses. One notable finding on development is that the oyster Hox gene cluster was broken, and there are unusual gene losses and expansions of the TALE and PRD classes. Hox genes are essential and play critical important role in body plan, the Hox clusters are found to be more conserved in many organisms.

Researchers found paralogs might have the function to change the gene expression for better coping with the stresses. This result suggested that expansion and selective retention of duplicated defense-related genes are probably important to oyster's adaptation. Moreover, many immune-related genes were highly expressed in the digestive gland of the oyster, which indicated its digestive system was an important first-line defense organ against pathogens for the filter-feeder. The shell provides a strong protection against predation and desiccation in sessile marine animals such as oysters.

At present, two models have been proposed for molluscan shell formation, but neither of them is accurate enough. In this study, by sequencing the peptides in the shell, researchers identified 259 shell proteins, and further analysis revealed that shell formation was a far more complex process than previously thought. They found many diverse proteins may play important roles in matrix construction and modification. The typical ECM proteins such as Laminin and some collagens were highly expressed in shells, suggesting that shell matrix has similarities to the ECM of animal connective tissues and basal lamina. Hemocytes may mediate fibronectin (FN)-like fibril formation in the shell matrix as they do in ECM. Furthermore, the functional diversity of proteins showed that the cells and exosome may participate in the shell formation.

Xiaodong Fang, Primary Investigator of this project at BGI, said, "The assembly approach of Oyster genome opens a new way for researchers to better crack the genomes with high-heterozygosity and high-polymorphism. The Oyster genome sheds insights into the comprehensive understanding of mollusc genomes or even lophotrochozoa genomes at the whole genome-wide level, with focuses on the studies of diversity, evolutionary adaptive mechanisms, developmental biology as well as genomics-assisted breeding."

sábado, 22 de septiembre de 2012

the Arctic continues to shrink during this century

Seattle, WA — As sea ice in the Arctic continues to shrink during this century, more than two thirds of the area with sufficient snow cover for ringed seals to reproduce also will disappear, challenging their survival, scientists report in a new study.

The ringed seal, currently under consideration for threatened species listing, builds caves to rear its young in snow drifts on sea ice. Snow depths must be on average at least 20 centimeters, or 8 inches, to enable drifts deep enough to support the caves.

"It's an absolute condition they need," said Cecilia Bitz, an associate professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington. She's a co-author of the study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

But without sea ice, the platform that allows the snow to pile up disappears, ultimately reducing the area where the seals can raise their pups.

Bitz typically focuses on studying the area and thickness of sea ice. "But when a seal biologist telephoned and asked what our climate models predict for snow depth on the ice, I said, 'I have no idea,'" she said. "We had never looked."

That biologist was co-author Brendan Kelly of the National Science Foundation and he was curious about the snow depth trend because he was contributing to a governmental report in response to the petition to list the seals as threatened.

The researchers, including lead author and UW atmospheric sciences graduate student Paul Hezel, found that snowfall patterns will change during this century but the most important factor in determining snow depth on the ice will be the disappearance of the sea ice.

"The snowfall rate increases slightly in the middle of winter by the end of the century," Hezel said. However, at the same time sea ice is expected to start forming later in the year than it does now. The slightly heavier snowfall in the winter won't compensate for the fact that in the fall -- which is also when it snows the heaviest -- snow will drop into the ocean instead of piling up on the ice.

The researchers anticipate that the area of the Arctic that accumulates at least 20 centimeters of snow will decrease by almost 70 percent this century. With insufficient snow depth, caves won't hold up.

Other climate changes threaten those caves, too. For instance, the snow will melt earlier in the year than it does now, so it's possible the caves won't last until the young seals are old enough to venture out on their own. In addition, more precipitation will fall as rain, which soaks into the snow and can cause caves to collapse.

The research is important for more than just the ringed seals. "There are many other reasons to study snow cover," Hezel said. "It has a huge thermodynamic impact on the thickness of the ice."

Snow on sea ice in fall and winter acts like a blanket that slows the release of heat from the relatively warm ocean into the atmosphere. That means deeper snow tempers sea ice growth.

In the spring, snow has a different impact on the ice. Since snow is more reflective than ice, it creates a cooling effect on the surface. "So the presence of snow helps sustain the icepack into spring time," Hezel said.

To produce the study, the scientists examined 10 different climate models, looking at historic and future changes of things like sea ice area, precipitation, snowfall and snow depth on sea ice. The resulting prediction for declining snow depth on sea ice this century agreed across all of the models.

The new research comes too late to be cited in the report about ringed seals that was written by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in response to the petition to list the ringed seal as threatened. However, it confirms results that were based on a single model that Bitz provided for the report two years ago. NOAA expects to issue its final decision soon.

jueves, 20 de septiembre de 2012

A man who survived while adrift in the Pacific for 106 days

KIRIBATI - A man who survived while adrift in the Pacific for 106 days is crediting a shark for helping to save his life.

Toakai Teitoi, 41, a policeman from the Central Pacific island nation of Kiribati, had been traveling with his brother-in-law on what was supposed to be a short voyage, beginning May 27, from the Kiribati capital of Tarawa to his home island of Maiana.

But the mariners decided to fish along the way, and fell asleep during the night. When they awoke they were far at sea and adrift in their 15-foot wooden vessel. They soon ran out of fuel, and were short on water.

"We had food, but the problem was we had nothing to drink," Teitoi told Agence France-Presse news service.

Dehydration was severe. Falaile, the 52-year-old brother-in-law, died on July 4. That night, Teitoi slept next to him, "like at a funeral," before an emotional burial at sea the next morning.

Teitoi shared scant details of the ordeal after arriving in Majuro, in the Marshall Islands, on Saturday. He said he prayed the night Falaile died, and the next day a storm arrived and, over the next several days, he was able to fill two five-gallon containers with fresh water.

Days and weeks passed, however, and Teitoi, a father of six, did not know whether he'd live or die. He subsisted mostly on fish and protected himself against the searing tropical sun by curling up in a small, covered portion of the bow.

It was on the afternoon of Sept. 11 that he awoke to the sound of scratching against his boat. A six-foot shark was circling the boat and, Teitoi said, bumping against its hull.

"He was guiding me to a fishing boat," Teitoi said. "I looked up and there was the stern of a ship and I could see crew with binoculars looking at me."

The first thing he asked for after he was plucked from the water was a cigarette, or "a smoke." He was given food and juice and his rescuers continued to fish for several days before delivering him to Majuro.

Teitoi, who seemed in good health, said he booked flights back to his home island, adding, "I'll never go by boat again."

The record for drifting at sea is believed to be held by two fishermen, also from Kiribati, who were at sea for 177 days before coming ashore in Samoa in 1992.

domingo, 9 de septiembre de 2012

The new DNA-method

Copenhagen, DENMARK — Danish researchers at University of Copenhagen lead the way for future monitoring of marine biodiversity and resources by using DNA traces in seawater samples to keep track of fish and whales in the oceans. A half litre of seawater can contain evidence of local fish and whale faunas and combat traditional fishing methods. Their results are now published in the international scientific journal PLOS ONE.

"The new DNA-method means that we can keep better track of life beneath the surface of the oceans around the world, and better monitor and protect ocean biodiversity and resources," says PhD student Philip Francis Thomsen from the Centre for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen.

Marine ecosystems worldwide are under threat with many fish species and populations suffering from human over-exploitation, which greatly impacts global biodiversity, economy and human health. Today, marine fish are largely surveyed using selective and invasive methods mostly limited to commercial species, and restricted to areas with favourable conditions.

However, researchers at Centre for GeoGenetics now lead the way for future monitoring of marine biodiversity. They have shown that seawater contains DNA from animals such as fish and whales. The species leave behind a trace of DNA that reveals their presence in the ocean based on water samples of just half a litre.

The development of the novel DNA monitoring approach was accomplished by PhD student Philip Francis Thomsen and Master's student Jos Kielgast from the Centre for GeoGenetics headed by Professor Eske Willerslev. In December last year, they showed that small freshwater samples contain DNA from several different threatened animals, and after having published these results they began to focus on seawater. Here it also proved possible to obtain DNA directly from the water, which originated from local species living in the area.

"We analysed seawater samples specifically for fish DNA and we were very surprised when the results started to show up on the screen. We ended up with DNA from 15 different fish species in water samples of just a half litre. We found DNA from both small and large fish, as well as both common species and rare guests. Cod, herring, eel, plaice, pilchard and many more have all left a DNA trace in the seawater," says Philip Francis Thomsen.

In the other study the researchers showed that it is also possible to obtain DNA from harbour porpoise in small water samples taken in the sea, so the approach is not only limited to fish, but can also track large marine mammals.

The study also compares the new DNA method with existing methods traditionally used for monitoring fish such as trawl and pots. Here, the DNA method proved as good as or mostly better than existing methods. Moreover, the DNA method has a big advantage that it can be performed virtually anywhere without impacting the local habitat -- it just requires a sample of water. Associate Professor and fish expert Peter Rask Møller from the National History Museum of Denmark, who also participated in the study, is optimistic.

"The new DNA method has very interesting perspectives for monitoring marine fish. We always keep our eyes open for new methods to describe marine fish biodiversity in an efficient and standardised way. Here, I look very much forward to follow the DNA method in the future, and I think it could be very useful to employ in oceans around the world," says Peter Rask Møller.

The researchers also see great perspectives in the method for estimating fish stocks in the future.

viernes, 7 de septiembre de 2012

20 pilot whales came ashore

ST. LUCIE COUNTY — Hundreds of Treasure Coast residents converged on Avalon Beach State Park Saturday in what became an all-day struggle to rescue a pod of short-fin pilot whales that stranded themselves in the surf.
Twenty-two of the sleek, black marine mammals, ranging in size from 5-foot juveniles to 18-foot adults weighing around one ton, languished in the sun. Volunteers under the direction of biologists and veterinarians wrestled the whales upright to help them breath, covered their skins with moist towels and poured water over them.
The animals came ashore sometime before 9 a.m. One of the first on scene was Blair Mase, stranding coordinator for the Southeast Region with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. By coincidence, Mase, who recently moved to Vero Beach, was surfing in the area when she noticed people running toward the whales.
Mase said in such instances, it is useless to simply push pilot whales back into the ocean.
"This species has a tight social structure," Mase said. "Typically, they stay together as a group. So if one animal is sick, they all come ashore. If you push them into the water, they'll just keep coming back and stranding themselves again."
Scientists are not certain why pilot whales deliberately swim up onto beaches, although Mase said it is the species that most often does in Florida.
It may be a hard-wired instinct to follow their leader, said Steve McCulloch, manager of the Marine Mammal Stranding Network for Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University. Pilot whales are highly social animals and appear to take direction from one alpha individual. If that whale gets sick and beaches itself, the rest seem to follow without realizing that it's going to kill them, he added.
There were five calves in the stranded pod and McCulloch said they have the best chances of being saved. They were taken to Harbor Branch Saturday afternoon to be medically evaluated and rehydrated.
"Sadly, without the facilities and resources that are critically needed, the rest probably cannot be saved," he said. "The other whales will be humanely euthanized."
By noon, scientists were busy triaging the whales to determine which could be saved. Harbor Branch veterinarian Kattis Stengard took blood samples from the dorsal fins of each whale, which was then measured and tagged. Scientists intend to perform necropsies in an effort to learn more about the deep-water creatures.
McCulloch said mass strandings are rare and attract a lot of public attention.
"But for scientists, they are a treasure trove of information," he added.
Two large adult whales had died by early afternoon.
Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission also were part of the team effort.
Volunteers from Pelican Island Audubon Society, Harbor Branch, surfers and passers-by worked in the blazing midday sun, kneeling in the sand to tend the whales.
More volunteers from the North Treasure Coast Chapter of the American Red Cross passed drinks and snacks. They also raised tents on the beach to shade both beasts and people — some of whom performed as human buttresses, bracing the bigger whales with their backs to keep them from rolling over and suffocating because their weight was not buoyed by water.
The sad undercurrent running through Saturday's crowd was the knowledge that most of the animals were dying.
"We have had volunteers out here since this morning, pouring their hearts and souls out," Mase said. "These people are trying to save these whales and, for those that cannot be saved, trying to make their last hours more comfortable."
Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisth, a Harbor Branch volunteer, was working with others at a shaded inflatable pool, tending the juveniles that veterinarians hoped to rehabilitate.
"I think that people want to help animals," she said. "Especially whales and dolphins, because they are our counterparts in the seas. They're mammals, they're intelligent, they're social. They're a lot like us."
Mase said she's been working whale strandings for 20 years and sees this type of humane outpouring all the time.
"It pulls at their heartstrings," she said. "Saving whales is a human thing."

miércoles, 5 de septiembre de 2012

New Seahorse

Boston, MA — A new underwater explorer hit the seas this summer, armed with cameras, strobes and sonar and charged with being a protector of sorts to a half-billion dollar resource — the Atlantic scallop catch.

The stainless steel Seahorse, which gets its nickname from its s-shaped silhouette, traces its roots to a conversation a decade ago between a biologist and a fisherman who was seeking a better way to track the scallop population.

This summer, the instrument was towed over miles of seafloor, from Virginia to Cape Cod, taking millions of images and capturing details about marine life and the ocean floor that stretched beyond just the number of scallops.

The Seahorse revealed previously unseen ocean topography, predators stalking prey, and even the furrows left where fishing gear was pulled along the bottom.

Marine scientists just don't get this kind of look into the darkness on the ocean floor, said Dvora Hart, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration mathematical biologist who leads the federal sea scallop assessment.

"We've been kind of blind before having this type of information," Hart said.

The Seahorse is the fourth version of HabCam, an instrument originally created to better count scallops. Former scalloper Richard Taylor had seen scallop industry's worst times around 1994, when the prime fishing areas were closed to protect depleted groundfish and scallop populations.

But by 1996, scientists discovered that areas that had been shut down to protect certain fish species were rich with scallops. The industry has been thriving since the late 1990s, after regulators installed a plan to cut down fishing days and rotate fishing between different areas, to allow the stock to replenish in untouched regions.

Last year, the Atlantic sea scallop catch was worth $580 million in revenues, and the industry's best-known port of New Bedford has been the nation's top fishing revenue port for 11 years running.

Back around 2002, Taylor knew things were going well, but also knew how quickly they can go bad. He was particularly concerned about the inefficiency of the primary method for sampling scallops for use in population estimates — using a dredge to scoop them up. A dredge misses varying percentages of the scallops it goes over, and Taylor worried the flawed information could eventually lead to the overfishing or underfishing that can drag down the resource and the fishermen.

Taylor talked with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution biologist Scott Gallager, whom he had worked with on scallop issues. "We need a better tool," he told Gallager.

They helped develop the Seahorse, along with the Deep Submergence Laboratory at Woods Hole. It's an advance over previous versions of HabCam because it's equipped with strobes and two cameras, instead of one, enabling it to take 3-D pictures at a rate of 10 overlapping images per second. It has side sonar to give high resolution images of the surrounding topography, and also equipment to measure variables such as temperature and water color.

The Seahorse is towed at about 7 mph, and moves 6 feet above the ocean floor. The instrument, about 10 feet long and about 3 feet wide, is controlled by joystick by an operator in the towing vessel.

Since 2010, NOAA has spent $856,000 to develop, test and deploy the Seahorse.

Researchers have made a first pass through the 7 million images, studying 1 of every 200, and the data is being used in management decisions, Hart said. A more detailed look is planned, she said.

The voluminous detail the Seahorse collects has application well beyond scallops and their habitat. Hart notes, for instance, that the Seahorse captured pictures of the struggling yellowtail flounder, and may contribute to research in that fishery. Its images of the effects of fishing gear can inform the hot, yet data-poor debate about whether fishing gear is wrecking the ocean bottom.

The Seahorse can't replace the dredge as a sampling tool. Scientists need to actually pull up scallops to get key information, such as by studying rings on the shells (much like tree rings) to learn about their growth rates.

And Taylor cautioned that new data from the Seahorse doesn't necessarily mean much when it comes to managing fisheries.

"I'm somewhat skeptical," he said. "Just because you have better data, doesn't mean automatically that better decisions are made."

Scalloper Paul Rosonina runs a vessel that's towed the Seahorse and has been part of its development for years. Scallop industry regulators can't do the right thing without good information, and that's what the Seahorse is about to him.

"You think I don't want my son to have a future?" he said. "I want my grandson to have a future; I want my great grandson to have a future. I don't want this to die. ... I think it should be around forever."

lunes, 3 de septiembre de 2012

Great White Shark Washer ashore

Boston, MA - A massive shark washed up on a New England beach this weekend, prompting officials to close down two nearby beaches.
The Great White weighing about 1,600 pounds was discovered on the border of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

When fisherman Gary Severa first spotted the 13-foot predator Saturday morning, he thought it was driftwood but after getting a closer look there was no mistaking what he found.

"It was pretty scary standing next to that thing…it made your adrenaline go cause he's stone dead, but my God, it has jaws written all over it," Severa said.

Officials are not sure why this great white died or how it ended up here. Taking no chances, they closed the two nearby beaches - South Shore Beach and Goosewing Beach- for swimmers.

Officials closed nearly 10 miles of Cape Cod beaches because it was "not safe to go back in the water," after that stretch of Massachusetts sand was the scene of a feeding frenzy caught on tape last month.

A video taken on Aug. 22 shows another great white feasting on a seal just inches from a family's boat, as they looked on in horror.

Last Thursday, seven sharks were spotted off the coast of two other Cape Cod beaches, some just feet from the shore.

"I'm glad summer is over. Don't think I'll go back in the water…," said beach goer Kristin Allder.

Greg Skomal of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries told ABC News affiliate WCVB that they will conduct test to find out what caused the shark's death.

"We're going to look at the stomach - what it's been eating," Skomal told WCVB.