Keep Track of Sharks Off Cape Cod Right From Your Phone
In the age of constantly-evolving technology, there's an app for everything these days, right? Thanks to an organization performing research and education on oceanic wildlife across the globe, you can now track individual sharks from anywhere, even just off the coast of Massachusetts.
OCEARCH started its work back in 2007, when the organization took off on its first expedition to Guadalupe Island, Mexico. The next year, a team returned to the island and began tagging great white sharks. They named each one, took basic measurements and released them all back into the ocean. Throughout the years, OCEARCH has tagged more than 400 sharks over a total of 39 expeditions with nearly 200 scientists and just one boat. One shark named Mary Lee even "put OCEARCH on the map" after the organization caught and tagged her on Cape Cod back in 2012.
OCEARCH opened up its tracking information to the public, allowing anyone to download the app and receive "pings" as sharks swim to different locations. As of Monday afternoon, the closest ping to the SouthCoast came from Charlotte, who was tracked just off the northern coast of Nantucket on Saturday night. Andromache was spotted not much further away on Friday morning, pinged just east of Nantucket's coast.
So what's the point to all of this research, other than a pretty neat app that allows scientists and the public to keep track of their favorite sharks? OCEARCH has been working over the years to learn more about sharks and life under the waters. One of the organization's biggest discoveries actually started in the waters of Nantucket, when OCEARCH tagged its first mature male great white shark, George, in 2016. After George was tagged, researchers were then able to keep tabs on both male and female sharks, seeing where they meet and eventually determine breeding grounds for the species.
OCEARCH is available as an app and is free inside the app store. Shark enthusiasts (or those wishing to keep a wide berth from any area with a recent shark sighting) can also check out OCEARCH's shark tracker online.
If you're looking for a shark tracker that's a bit more interactive, Sharktivity allows users to report sightings, and after just one look, you'll notice that Sharktivity's reports show sharks that aren't necessarily tagged with OCEARCH.