Great white shark detected off Block Island

Jon F. Dodd - Atlantic Shark Institute

NEW SHOREHAM, R.I (WLNE) – The Atlantic Shark Institute (ASI) announced the detection of another great white shark off of Block Island.

This is the fifth different great white shark the ASI confirmed in the area this summer, located by their acoustic shark array.

“The value of this acoustic receiver array is increasing with each month and year” said Jon Dodd, Executive Director of the ASI.

“With more detections, more receivers to record and monitor movement, and now the ability to watch movement around the island, this research study will only grow in importance and value with each detection” Dodd continued.

According to the ASI, the shark is an 8’6″ female that was tagged by Dr. Greg Skomal from the MA Department of Marine Fisheries in August of 2019.

The shark did not take up residence around Block Island, but may have been migrating to Cape Cod, joining other white sharks in the pursuit of food, according to Dodd.

“With our next review and upload of data we’ll be able to confirm exactly when she departed Block Island or if she decided to spend some time there” Dodd said.

“These detections only reinforce what we’ve known for some time” he added. “These sharks have been in these waters for thousands of years and this research is continuously shedding more light on what’s been going on and where they’ve been spending time. It’s important to note that very few of the white sharks in the NW Atlantic have been tagged, with these individuals tagged representing the migratory pattern of a much larger group.”

“Dr. Skomal has tagged approximately 220 white sharks, with the actual number of white sharks living in the NW Atlantic likely numbering in the thousands” shared Dodd.

With that information, Dodd said it’s logical to assume that the number of white sharks in RI is actually higher than what is being seen.

©WLNE-TV/ABC6 2020

Categories: News, Regional News