Scientists to gauge presence of white sharks off Maine

The effort will include placement of 20 receivers in nearshore waters to capture data from tags placed on sharks.

A great white shark tries to bite a fish head being trolled though the water as researchers chum the ocean looking for sharks off  South Africa.
A great white shark tries to bite a fish head being trolled though the water by researchers off South Africa. In New England, local researchers will be studying the presence of the sharks off the coast of Maine following a fatal attack there last month. –AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam, File

HARPSWELL, Maine (AP) — Maine wants to get a better idea of how many great white sharks there are in its inshore waters, and is partnering with other agencies to find out.

Sixty-three-year-old Julie Dimperio Holowach was killed by a shark bite off Harpswell last month. Her death sparked interest in how many great whites there could be near Maine’s coast.

The Maine Department of Marine Resources said it will work with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy and the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries to study the presence of the sharks. The department said the effort will include placement of 20 acoustic receivers in nearshore waters to capture data from tags placed on white sharks.

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There are more than 200 tagged great white sharks. The marine department said current data show a fifth of white sharks tagged in that ongoing study migrate in to the Gulf of Maine.

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