Local Organization Succeeds in Bridging a Funding Gap For Cape Cod Shark Research
Orleans, MA - Atlantic White Shark Conservancy (AWSC), an Orleans based nonprofit committed to raising public awareness of white sharks is pleased to announce their purchase of 10 acoustic tags to be used for tracking white shark activity in Cape Cod waters.
Earlier this year, eleven Cape and Island towns formed a ‘Shark Working Group’ to address public safety concerns resulting from an increased presence of white sharks along the Outer Cape. The group applied for a state grant to fund signs, brochures, and shark research. A portion of the funds were slated to go towards purchasing acoustic tags and receivers. The group only received a fifth of their request, leaving a gap in funding shark research.
“The Conservancy’s purchase will help local Harbormasters support their regional approach to shark management,” explained Cynthia Wigren, Atlantic White Shark Conservancy President. “By supporting white shark research, we will gain a better understanding of white shark behavior close to shore.”
"As our public safety management and emergency response programs continue to evolve in response to this natural occurrence, additional information regarding the behaviors of these animals will prove invaluable. The contributions of the AWSC will greatly assist us in our endeavors," said Dawson Farber, Harbormaster for the town of Orleans.
“We are thrilled that we have reached one of our goals in bridging a gap where funding is seriously lacking,” noted Wigren. “Acoustic tags last up to four years and allow scientists to track white shark fine-scale movements along the coast.”
“We truly appreciate this significant contribution from the Conservancy,” said Division of Marine Fisheries shark biologist, Dr. Greg Skomal. “These 10 tags will enhance our ability to study these incredible sharks.”
Atlantic White Shark Conservancy is currently working toward another goal to fund five white shark tagging trips for the 2013 season. The nonprofit has solicited donations, is selling merchandise, and planning a fundraiser for July 11th at the Cape Cod Beach Chair Company in Harwich.
Atlantic White Shark Conservancy
Atlantic White Shark Conservancy supports scientific research, improves public safety, and promotes shark education. More information is available at: www.atlanticwhiteshark.org