BLOCK ISLAND, R.I. (WPRI) — Four great white sharks were detected in the waters surrounding Block Island, the Atlantic Shark Institute announced on Wednesday.
This is the most significant finding since this acoustic array was put in place last year, according to Executive Director of the Atlantic Shark Institute Jon Dodd.
The sharks were detected at the Block Island Wind Farm, the southwest ledge, the southeast corner of Block Island and on the west side of the island.
“We increased the number of acoustic receivers around Block Island from two in 2019 to seven this season and we assumed that this might be the result,” Dodd said. “This is just the second year in what will be a long-term study, so we are happy to be able to document and assess this activity in greater detail as we move forward with this important research.”
The four great white sharks ranged in size from a little more than eight feet, to the largest shark, a male at over 13 feet in length.
Dodd said that all of the sharks detected were tagged by Dr. Greg Skomal from the MA Division of Marine Fisheries. The largest shark was previously tagged in 2015 and the most recent was tagged in 2019.
Dr. Skomal has been conducting a white shark-tagging study since 2009. Each tag is unique, allowing researchers to know exactly what shark is in the area, along with the exact day and time.
To track sharks in the Atlantic Ocean and local waters, check out Ocearch shark tracker or the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy Sharktivity App.