Maine DMR Expects 20+ Acoustic Shark Receivers In Ocean Waters This Summer
Following the fatal great white shark attack where a woman died off Bailey Island in southern Maine this past year, the Maine Department of Marine Resources began working with the Atlantic Great White Shark Conservancy and the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, to figure out approximately how many of the big fish there are and where they are within coastal Maine waters.
For years now, the Atlantic Great White Shark Conservancy based in Chatham, Massachusetts, has tagged over 210 white sharks in the Cape Cod area. Tags pinned to white sharks then communicate with acoustic receivers moored in coastal waters, telling the folks on the mainland where a tagged shark is. This year, the Atlantic Great White Shark Conservancy will also install tiny video cameras within some of the tags, which should provide us underwater views as well.
The Maine Department of Marine Resources' Great White Shark ResearchTeam installed two acoustic receivers in the water late last year, one off Bailey Island and then another near Popham Beach State Park. They chose both locations because it's where the seals are, a white shark's favorite food. No word from the state if any of the acoustic receivers got a hit from a great white shark or not.
This year, the DMR will install 20 or more acoustic receivers up and down the Maine coast to collect yet even more data on the status of great white sharks. While white sharks haven't been all that common off Maine, more and more are making their way here as the water warms in the Gulf of Maine.
When an acoustic receiver receives a "hit", the Atlantic Great White Shark Conservancy's Sharktivity App will then inform it's users where and when the hit took place.