Researchers out to find great white sharks in 'Jaws' territory o - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Researchers out to find great white sharks in 'Jaws' territory off Cape Cod

Posted:
Possible World-Record Shark Caught Off SoCal (KTLA/CNN Newsource) Possible World-Record Shark Caught Off SoCal (KTLA/CNN Newsource)
Highlights
  • The waters off Cape Cod have seen an uptick in shark visits in recent years
  • An expedition is at sea to investigate and tag-and-release great whites
  • An expert says the increase in shark sightings reflects the return of an ecosystem

By Kevin Conlon

The largest great white shark expedition in U.S. history is at sea off the coast of Massachusetts -- the same waters fictionally terrorized by the most infamous great white of them all in the film "Jaws."

"Expedition Cape Cod 2013" is led by OCEARCH, a nonprofit that researches and tracks the migration of sharks, among other things, on its Global Shark Tracker website.

OCEARCH researchers, who set out on Monday, will spend the next month trying to capture, tag and release 20 great white sharks in the water off of Cape Cod, Massachusetts -- an area that has seen an uptick in shark visits in recent years.

"The increased summertime population of great white sharks off Cape Cod has drawn significant science and public safety attention," said Greg Skomal, who is heading up the team of researchers. Their study will seek to find out why

Tony LaCasse, spokesman for the New England Aquarium in Boston, says the increase in shark sightings in that part of the world is actually the result of a very good thing: the return of an ecosystem.

White sharks love to dine on gray seals, and gray seals eat fish -- the very same fish Massachusetts fishermen were trying to catch. It was custom for them to be shot on site a generation ago, explains LaCasse.

That stopped in 1972 with the passage of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. But the damage had already been done, the gray seal population had been nearly wiped out, and the great white had to seek dinner elsewhere. Those that remained became the target of fishermen, thanks to Hollywood. "There was a dramatic reduction in the population of great white sharks in the wake of 'Jaws,' " LaCasse told CNN.

Now, several years later -- about enough time for a seal population to regenerate and for great whites to be attracted by a food source -- "Jaws" returns for a sequel, sort of.

But not everyone is headed north for a summer on the Cape -- "Lori Anne" is a female shark that OCEARCH tagged near Cape Cod last June. According to Global Shark Tracker, Tuesday she turned up off the coast of West Palm Beach, Florida.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • ETX Deacon arrested for 1981 Pennsylvania homicide

    ETX Deacon arrested for 1981 Pennsylvania homicide

    Thursday, April 24 2014 8:08 PM EDT2014-04-25 00:08:58 GMT
    HARRISBURG, PA. (KYTX) - U.S. Marshal Martin J. Pane announced today the U.S. Marshals Service arrested a Pennsylvania fugitive in Texas who was wanted for more than 30 years on a 1981 murder charge.More >>
    HARRISBURG, PA. (KYTX) - U.S. Marshal Martin J. Pane announced today the U.S. Marshals Service arrested a Pennsylvania fugitive in Texas who was wanted for more than 30 years on a 1981 murder charge.More >>
  • Tyler Police searching for early morning robber

    Tyler Police searching for early morning robber

    Tyler Police searching for early morning robber

    Monday, April 21 2014 5:53 PM EDT2014-04-21 21:53:35 GMT
    Tyler Police need your help finding an early morning robbery suspect. A woman says a robber tackled her to the ground and stole her purse. More >>
    Tyler Police need your help finding an early morning robbery suspect. A woman says a robber tackled her to the ground and stole her purse. More >>
  • Cherokee County woman found dead in driveway, husband charged with murder

    Cherokee County woman found dead in driveway, husband charged with murder

    Monday, April 21 2014 5:31 PM EDT2014-04-21 21:31:33 GMT
    Cedric Dewayne ThompsonCedric Dewayne Thompson
    CHEROKEE CO. (KYTX) - On Sunday April 20, 2014 at approximately 9:35am Kayla Nicole Thompson (27 years of age) was found deceased in the driveway of her residence, located in the 1500 block of County Road 3201 just West of Lake Jacksonville.More >>
    CHEROKEE CO. (KYTX) - On Sunday April 20, 2014 at approximately 9:35am Kayla Nicole Thompson (27 years of age) was found deceased in the driveway of her residence, located in the 1500 block of County Road 3201 just West of Lake Jacksonville.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2004 - 2014, WorldNow and KYTX, Owned and Operated by London Broadcasting Company.
All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.