Tracking results in for sharks tagged off Chatham
CHATHAM, Mass. -- There is more information about five sharks tagged in the Northeast.
It’s been six months since the sharks were first swimming off the coast of Chatham in early September.
Their travels have been tracked over the past few months, and now, the tracking results are in.
"This is the first time the great white shark has been tagged in these waters," said Ian Bowles, of the Dept. of Energy & Environmental Affairs.
Like many Northerners, these sharks headed south for the winter.
"I was kind of surprised to see these tags pop up off of Florida. We knew that white sharks occur off Florida, we just didn't think that they'd all go there. And indeed this is pointing to an area that's probably an important habitat,” said Greg Skomal, Division of Marine Fisheries.
The sharks swam closely along the east coast, reaching northern Florida by early December and covering more than 1000 miles in just two months.
"We see a well-defined migratory pattern or what may be a well-defined migratory pattern from the Northeast down to the coast of Florida," Skomal said.
Biologists believe the southern migration all to the same spot has to do with dinner.
"I can hypothesize that the food resources there are adequate to sustain white sharks," Skomal said.
However, they don't know if or when these sharks will be heading back up to New England waters.
"Based on the distribution patterns of these sharks, there's no reason to believe they're not going to come back up the coastline. It will probably be mediated by temperature," Skomal said.
Biologists should receive tracking data for a fourth shark later this month and information from the fifth shark is expected in May.
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