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Now You Too Can Help Scientists Study Great White Sharks Off Cape Cod

Source: Smithsonian/Jennifer Nalewicki - September 8, 2017 in Adventure

Now You Too Can Help Scientists Study Great White Sharks Off Cape Cod
Photo: Elias Levy/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

For many people, the closest they will ever come to seeing a great white shark is by binge watching Shark Week on television, but now one organization in Cape Cod is offering people the opportunity to join expeditions alongside a team of scientists studying the ocean’s most feared predator.

 From now through the end of October, the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy (AWSC), a nonprofit organization that supports great white shark research, education and conservation, is offering up spots on its Chatham, Massachusetts-based research boats so that the public can get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how scientists study and track these elusive carnivores.
A typical expedition lasts about three hours and takes place between 100 and 300 feet offshore, giving guests the chance to witness shark behavior in their natural habitat—in this case the Atlantic Ocean. During the trip, guests can watch as scientists, including Dr. Greg Skomal, a senior fisheries biologist with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) and the head of the Massachusetts Shark Research Program (MSRP), monitor and video record each shark. (The sharks never leave the water.)

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