OCEARCH Tags, Samples, and Releases a Total of Three White Sharks During Expedition New England

OCEARCH recently embarked on their 41st Ocean Research Expedition in New England where they were successfully able to sample, tag, and release three white sharks. The data collected from these sharks will support 23 science projects, helping form a complete picture of the ecology, behavior and health of the white shark in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean.  

Expedition New England departed from New Bedford, Massachusetts on August 1st and spent the first week fishing in federal waters outside of Cape Cod and Nantucket before heading to the Isle of Shoals off of New Hampshire, and ending in Gloucester, Massachusetts on August 20. 

OCEARCH’s Northwest Atlantic White Shark Study is the most comprehensive research study that has ever been done on a white shark population and the data collected from the three sharks tagged and sampled on Expedition New England will support 23 different research projects including full health assessments, bacterial and microbiome studies and microplastic toxin exposure. In addition the three tags added to these sharks will allow scientists to track their long term movements as they grow into young adults. 

Meet OCEARCH’s New Sharks: 

  1. Olympia: A 7ft, 187lb female juvenile white shark that was tagged off of Monomoy in Massachusetts. Olympia was named by OCEARCH’s partner SeaWorld in honor of the athletes participating in the 2020 Olympic games. You can track her on the OCEARCH Global Shark Tracker here. 
  2. Tuck: An 8ft, 238lb male juvenile white shark named for the people of Nantucket. You can track him on the OCEARCH Global Shark Tracker here.
  3. Santiago: A 6ft, 140lb male juvenile white shark that was tagged off of Cape Cod. Santiago was named by OCEARCH’s longtime partner Costa Sunglasses in honor of their “Untangle Our Oceans” initiative. Track him on the OCEARCH Global Shark Tracker here. 

This expedition helped show the importance of the region off of Nantucket for juvenile white sharks as they begin to grow and expand their movements. “The addition of sharks Olympia, Tuck, and Santiago studied off Nantucket and Cape Cod, Massachusetts helps us complete our needed sample size for juvenile white sharks in the northwest Atlantic. The two smaller sharks, 7ft female Olympia and 6ft male Santiago, are showing us how these young sharks use the waters off Nantucket Island in the summertime. 8ft male Tuck, on the other hand, spent his first few days off Cape Cod but then headed north, taking in the productive coastal waters from Massachusetts to the Bay of Fundy, Canada,” stated OCEARCH Chief Scientist Dr. Bob Hueter. 

After Expedition New England OCEARCH’s Northwest Atlantic White Shark Study’s total sample size is up to 73 animals, just 27 animals away from their goal of 100 tagged and sampled sharks. OCEARCH is headed to Nova Scotia in September for their 42nd research expedition to continue to grow their sample size and further their knowledge of the Northwest Atlantic white shark.