Don’t Worry, Maine is Tracking Its Great White Sharks
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
There was once a sweet, blissful time in my life when I didn’t worry about sharks in Maine.
I jumped off ferry docks, swam off boats, and dove along the coast without a worry on my mind. I don’t know when or why the switch happened but I am now absolutely terrified of sharks in Maine.
We’ve had an increase lately for varying reasons, which is actually a good thing, but it doesn’t feel very good when my heart rate is soaring through the roof as soon as I dip my toes into the salt water.
The only thing that slightly eases my mind is the advanced technology we are continuing to develop and use to track these massive beasts. I know I can’t be upset that they’re here, the ocean is their habitat and not mine, but at least we can get a general sense of where they are, where they’re going, and when to be on the lookout.
Shark Detection Buoy System
A marine science team from the University of New England just recently released a shark detection system that’s new to Maine using a shark detection buoy. It’s not the first of its kind in New England but it is the first one here in Vacationland.
As WBZ News Radio shares, the buoy will send real-time location data on tagged sharks to increase awareness and have heightened accuracy on the location and direction of these great whites. This gives us a more accurate and timely update than some of the current phone apps that are being used.
Sharktivity Phone App
The phone apps are great, though, and add another level of security and peace of mind. You can use an app called Sharktivity developed by The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy with help from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and the Cape Cod National Seashore. The app presents shark sightings from researchers, safety officials, and the public through pings and pictures all verified by the New England Aquarium.
OCEARCH Tracker App
There’s also the classic app that we’ve all been hearing about and most of us have already checked out, which is the OCEARCH tracker. This app shows you a map of the sharks and all their recent activity, so you can even pick your favorite shark and watch their journey, like our friend Freya from last year.
While these tracking systems don't necessarily make the ocean safer, it does give you a sense of security and awareness about where the sharks are being spotted, when to avoid or be extra cautious in certain areas, and they allow you to stay in the loop.
Sometimes ignorance is blissful but not in this case.