Ocean News

Keeping Tabs on Cape Cod Great Whites

25th July 2011

Save Our Seas Foundation-sponsored shark researcher Greg Skomal’s work, which involves tagging white sharks with satellite and acoustic tags to learn about when and why they approach local beaches, has made the news in Cape Code, Massachusetts. From the article:

"Our primary focus is the feeding dynamics between sharks and seals during the time they are close to shore," said state Division of Marine Fisheries shark researcher Greg Skomal. That said, his research could produce results Cape swimmers and surfers definitely have a stake in: why and when great whites venture near beaches.

For the past two years, state researchers have concentrated their efforts on the bigger picture, using satellite tags that follow shark movements for periods of up to eight months over thousands of miles. Last year, Skomal’s team tagged five sharks with these sophisticated data recorders that transmit information on location, depth and water temperature along the thousands of miles of their annual migration routes.

But they also fitted a sixth shark with an acoustic tag that emits a distinctive signal picked up by four receivers around the Monomoy islands and Chatham Harbor when the shark moves within 700 feet of one of the installations. The collected data tell when the shark entered and left these shallow waters near shore, where seals are often attacked.