Rhode Island’s Atlantic Shark Institute Tags 30th Great White Shark in Expanding Study!

The Atlantic Shark Institute (ASI) made headlines on Tuesday as they proudly announced a significant achievement in their ongoing research on great white sharks in Rhode Island and its surrounding waters. Their latest feat involves the tagging of their 30th great white shark, with each tagged animal adding important data that helps scientists better understand this iconic species.

Jon Dodd, the Executive Director of the Atlantic Shark Institute, expressed his excitement, stating, “When we started this project, we hoped we would be able to capture and tag ten white sharks to shed more light on white shark activity here in RI and surrounding waters. To reach 30 white sharks tagged, this quickly, simply increases the likelihood of answering questions about how white sharks use RI waters.”

Dodd emphasized the importance of their focus on Young-of-the-Year (YOY) and juvenile white sharks, as they represent the future of the species. He highlighted the critical role each tagged shark plays in advancing scientific understanding and conservation efforts.

The announcement comes at a crucial time as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) considers the white shark vulnerable to extinction worldwide, with declining populations. Dodd stressed the urgency of understanding the species’ behavior, especially regarding reproduction and habitat preferences, to ensure its survival.

Dr. Josh Moyer, Resident Research Scientist for the ASI, underscored the challenges white sharks face in replenishing their population due to their slow reproductive rate. He emphasized the significance of identifying the habitats and behaviors of juvenile white sharks for effective species management.

The ASI employs a range of advanced tracking technologies, including conventional tags, acoustic and satellite tags, and an array of acoustic receivers, to monitor tagged white sharks. Dodd and Moyer credited their success to the collaboration of over 30 research volunteers and technological advancements in shark research.

While most of Rhode Island’s sharks migrate during the winter months, Dodd assured that they would return soon, and the ASI team stands prepared for the upcoming field season. He likened the anticipation to the holidays for shark researchers, emphasizing their commitment to documenting and tracking sharks for the sake of ocean health and conservation.

As the ASI continues its groundbreaking research, the tagging of the 30th great white shark serves as a testament to their dedication to unraveling the mysteries surrounding this apex predator and ensuring its long-term survival.




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