The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy has completed its 2022 research season, advancing its mission to support scientific research, improve public safety and educate the community to inspire white shark conservation.
Dr. Gregory Skomal of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, working with the Conservancy, successfully tagged 31 white sharks off Cape Cod during 18 research trips conducted from July through early-November.
Since the DMF began its tagging program, 277 individual white sharks have been tagged off the coast of Cape Cod.
“This year marks ten years of collaborative efforts between the DMF and the Conservancy to better understand the movement and behavior of a critical species in our marine environment, and to share that information with the public to improve safety,” said Cynthia Wigren, CEO and co-founder, Atlantic White Shark Conservancy. “Data collected by the tags has become the foundation for studies being conducted on Cape Cod and beyond.”
For the first time during the 2022 season, the Conservancy also began using drone technology to collect video footage of white sharks in Cape Cod waters. The footage collected is being used to investigate potential relationships between environmental conditions and predatory behavior.
“The drone technology is also being paired with tracks of tagged sharks through a fine-scale acoustic receiver array deployed by the Center for Coastal Studies off five Outer Cape beaches to estimate the spotting efficiency of observers using drones under a variety of environmental conditions,” said Megan Winton, senior scientist, Atlantic White Shark Conservancy. “This project will improve our understanding of white shark behavior in nearshore waters and will also provide science-based information about the efficacy of a frequently proposed shark surveillance measure.”
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