Atlantic Shark Institute tags 8 great white sharks off SNE coast

The sharks were mostly young, which could give researchers a better picture of how they spend their early lives and how they can better be protected.

By: Tim Studebaker

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WAKEFIELD, R.I. (WLNE) – The Atlantic Shark Institute has announced they were able to successfully catch, tag, and release eight great white sharks off the southern New England coast this research season.  That’s up from just one last year.

Jon Dodd is the group’s Executive Director.  Dodd says, “It’s the most work we’ve gotten done, and we’re really excited about sending these 8 sharks off to find out a lot about what they’re going through and where they’re going.”

Dodd says most great whites tagged in the past have been older.  This time, however, they mostly tagged very young sharks which could provide valuable information on how they spend their early lives.

Dodd says, “Are they going into areas where we might find that they’re under too much fishing pressure? Or, they might be under pressure from larger predators.”

They also hope to learn more about feeding habits and what protections they need to grow and survive as a species, especially knowing it takes 30 years for a female to reach maturity.

Dodd says, “To survive in this ocean today for 30 years, with predators and long line fishing operations and commercial fishing operations is a feat all by itself, never mind, then being able to reproduce.”

The sharks are tagged with an acoustic transmitter which will allow researchers to follow their movements for the next 10 years, and they’re already picking up on some patterns.

Dodd says, “We’re starting to see a little bit of movement around Block Island with these young-of-the-year and these juveniles, and we think that might point to the fact that this could be a nursery right here around Rhode Island around Block Island.”

For more information, visit their website: https://www.atlanticsharkinstitute.org/

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Categories: News, Rhode Island