Cape Cod Scientists to ID Individual Great White Sharks

Cape Cod Scientists to ID Individual Great White Sharks
Photos of Mary Lee as she was tagged and released in the waters off Cape Cod, MA. (2013) Photo/OCEARCH

The Cape Cod Times reports on the study by Massachusetts scientists Greg Skomal and John Chisholm involving great white sharks off Cape Cod. According to the article, this is the first year of a 4-year population study aimed at establishing a database of unique marks to be used to identify individual sharks. The researchers also intend to conduct a mark-and-recapture study that will estimate population numbers based on the ratio of familiar tagged sharks to the overall stock size.

This summer, Skomal and Chisholm have made 17 trips and identified a total of 11 individual great whites, 6 of which have not been seen before. Five were great whites that had previously been tagged. Many of the sharks gather off the so-called “Shark Cove” near the northern end of Monomoy, where they lie in wait for gray seals.

Read more about the ongoing great white shark study off Cape Cod.