The following afternoon, scientists from both SBU and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) transferred the shark to the Southampton Marine Station for dissection. It was identified as a juvenile, male white shark less than two years old, based on its size and weight.
A couple of weeks ago, the situation for New England’s iconic Atlantic cod went from bad to dismal. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that the new assessment for Gulf of Maine cod shows that the already depleted population has declined to a mere 3-4% of a sustainable abundance level [which is likely less than 2% of its un-fished abundance]. This is down from previous cod abundance estimates in 2011 of 12-18% of a sustainable level. Scientists say that surveys of cod show abundance is at an all-time low. And scientists found very few young cod, another bad sign1.
As large whales – such as the sperm, humpback, gray, blue, and right – have started to slowly recover in recent years from centuries of overhunting, scientists are discovering that these large animals are very important to our oceans.