A great white shark being tracked by oceanographers was recorded swimming Monday in the Long Island Sound — the first such instance of the apex predator in that body of water.
Ocearch, a nonprofit marine research organization that tags sharks with GPS tracking devices that ping satellites whenever the shark’s fins are above water, reported a shark that the group dubbed Cabot pinged off the coast of Greenwhich, Connecticut.
“I heard sending a ping from the Long Island Sound had never been done before by a white shark … so naturally I had to visit and send one off,” Ocearch tweeted from a Twitter account set up for the shark.
Although it’s a first for the Sound, it isn’t the first time a shark has been recorded off the coast of Long Island.
Another shark named Mary Lee has pinged several times off the Atlantic coast, the group led an expedition that revealed a shark nursery in deeper ocean waters off LI, and last summer a small shark bit a child in the surf on Fire Island — the first recorded shark bite for the area in nearly a century. Dead sharks also occasionally wash up on LI shores.
A dying basking shark washed up in 2009, several harmless basking sharks forced a brief swimming ban in Westhampton Beach in 2011, another shark was spotted off Atlantic Beach in 2013, and two sharks spotted off Tobay sparked a scare in 2015.
Ocearch tracks dozens of sharks besides Cabot and Mary Lee in an effort to better understand the protected species, as well as improve public awareness of the predators made infamous by Jaws, in which the character Captain Quint was based on Frank Mundus, the legendary Montauk shark fisherman-turned-conservationist.
Ocearch, which operates a tracker device on its website for the public to see sharks are in real time, said its tracker tool crashed with the increased interest from the unprecedented shark sighting in the Sound.
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