Great White Sharks detected in R.I. waters

Wed, 10/02/2019 - 9:45am

The Atlantic Shark Institute is reporting that its newly deployed audio equipment detected the presence of two great white sharks in Rhode Island Waters this summer. The sharks were detected in two different locations near Block Island in July.

The Wakefield-based organization, in partnership with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, noted that high-tech audio equipment detected an 11-foot male near the Block Island Wind Farm, and a 12-foot female near the island’s Southwest Ledge. 

The report notes that Cape Cod has become a haven for great white sharks in recent years with an increase in the seal population in that part of the northeast. The two great white sharks that were detected near Block Island were tagged last summer off Cape Cod.

The Block Island Times reported in May that the nonprofit OCEARCH tracked a 10-foot long, 500 pound male great white shark not too far from Block Island swimming close to shore off the cost of Greenwich, Conn. 

Sarah Callen, Assistant Manager of Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program, told The Times at that time that an increase in the seal population on Block Island could attract great white sharks. “We have had seals in our coverage area all year round,” she said. “Water temperatures are changing, which bring in different species of fish. And we have seen an increase in the timeline the animals have been hanging out on Block Island.”

(See attached press release from the DEM.)