According to a report today by AP News, scientists monitoring the white shark population in the waters off Massachusetts’ Cape Cod have begun attaching improved sensors, including cameras, to the sharks to help to track shark behavior off the coast, researchers said.
As AP News reports:
The program comes just as tourists are filling up hotels and rental properties on the Cape for the summer — and white sharks are returning in greater numbers to feed on the region’s abundant seals.
Interactions between white sharks and humans are rare. But the risk is still there. There have been five in Massachusetts since 2012 — three of them classified as bites, one of which was fatal, said Greg Skomal, the state Division of Marine Fisheries shark expert.
“So as a result, we’ve intensified our research off the Cape to study various aspects of white shark behavior,” Skomal said.
The fisheries division and the nonprofit Atlantic White Shark Conservancy have tagged about 300 sharks over the past decade with acoustic sensors that emit a high-frequency sound to an array of receivers located along the coast.
When a shark is within the range of the acoustic receiver, public safety officials and lifeguards are notified.