Atlantic Shark Institute to Study 5 Shark Species

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) — The arrival of summer in Rhode Island also means the arrival of sharks.

Jon Dodd, executive director of the Atlantic Shark Institute in South Kingstown, hopes to learn more about five species of shark by catching and tagging several, dropping video cameras into the water to observe them in their natural habitat, and monitoring acoustic equipment to get a better idea of their travel patterns.

“These sharks are critical to the health of our oceans in a wide variety of ways, and that makes this research all the more important,” he told The Providence Journal. “We can’t continue to take over 100 million sharks out of the ocean, every year, and not create longterm issues to the health and well-being of our planet.”

The institute is studying great white, shortfin mako, thresher, porbeagle and blue sharks.

The goal is to tag five juvenile great whites, 10 female blue sharks, 10 porbeagle sharks and 20 makos.

The smaller, younger sharks are more likely to be found in Rhode Island waters, where they can feed on striped bass and dogfish, Dodd said. The bigger, older white sharks are more likely to be drawn to the waters off Cape Cod where they can feed on seals, he said.