While the convention had been the very rare great white shark sighting in Rhode Island waters – perhaps once every few years – by a fisherman spending enormous amounts of time out on the water, the power of technology is giving us a much better look at the population and migratory paths of the beast here on the Eastern seaboard.
Just a few short days ago, ‘Genie’ was located off of Block Island.
Spending huge amounts of time underwater, your mind can start to play games on you. You second guess shadows, have that eerie feeling that something is lurking right there over your shoulder, or that you are being stalked. Every now and then, those fleeting thoughts materialize into an incredible wildlife encounter. The challenge up here in New England is that the water is dark – its hard to see the big animals. They’ve always been here – they are just plain hard to see. With improved water quality and hence visibility over the past decade, that has certainly improved our underwater experiences. Certainly with the increased white shark sightings on Cape Cod, and resulting increased emphasis on tracking these animals, more eyes are on the water, resulting in even more sightings and interactions. Now the sharks have our attention, so what do we do?
The fact that we have an apex predator in our waters speaks to the health of our local ecosystem – that’s a good thing! The questions is how to find balance between man and the seas.
With Genie in my backyard, I’ll certainly have my eyes open. Perhaps the encounter of a lifetime is out there waiting.
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