CHATHAM, Mass. (AP) — In ‘‘Jaws,’’ the fictional mayor tried to protect the summer tourism season by keeping a lid on reports of the man-eater lurking offshore. As sightings of great white sharks mount off Cape Cod in real life, however, businesses in the Massachusetts town of Chatham are embracing the frenzy.
Shark T-shirts are everywhere, ‘‘Jaws’’ has been playing in local theaters and boat tours are taking more tourists out to see the huge seal population that keeps the sharks coming. Harbormasters have issued warnings but — unlike the sharks in the movies — the great whites generally are not seen as a threat to human swimmers.
Among the entrepreneurs is Justin Labdon, owner of the Cape Cod Beach Chair Company, who started selling ‘Chatham Whites’ T-shirts after customers who were renting paddle boards and kayaks began asking whether it was safe to go to sea.