CapeCodOnline: If they wondered at all about the gravity of the region’s growing great white shark problem, officials gathered at town hall Wednesday had only to glance at the sobering headlines about a 39-year-old surfer killed in California the day before.

“California has been in this mode for decades, and they had an attack yesterday,” Greg Skomal, shark program director for the state Division of Marine Fisheries, told about 50 municipal, state and federal representatives at the first regional meeting about sharks. “Is there a preventative measure that could stop it? Probably not.”

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