Sharks of New England

WED, MAY 5, 2004 (1:08:11)

Greg Skomal discusses the sharks that are present in New England waters in the summer. As the ocean waters of New England warm in May and June, many species of fish migrate north. Among them are more than a dozen shark species. Whether they are oceanic sharks such as the blue, mako or basking sharks; coastal species such as sandbar sharks, spiny and smooth dogfish; or tropical species such as tiger and hammerhead sharks, they all can be found in New England trying to capitalize on the productive northeast waters that are rich in food and reproductive opportunities. The porbeagle shark is the only species found year-round in Massachusetts waters because of its preference for colder waters. Massachusetts represents the northernmost range for several shark species. It is an important area for monitoring the health and distribution of shark populations.

+ BIO: Greg Skomal

Dr. Gregory Skomal is an accomplished marine biologist, underwater explorer, photographer, aquarist, and author. He has been a fisheries biologist with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries since 1987 and currently heads up the Massachusetts Shark Research Program. Greg holds a master’s degree in marine biology from the University of Rhode Island and a PhD from the Boston University Marine Program in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. His research has spanned multiple fish habitats around the globe, taking him from the frigid waters of the Arctic Circle to coral reefs in the tropical Central Pacific. He has written numerous scientific research papers and has appeared in a number of film and television documentaries, including programs for the National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, ESPN, and CBS. Although his research passion for the last 23 years has been sharks, he has been an avid aquarist for more than 30 years and has written nine books on aquarium keeping. His home and laboratory are on the island of Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts.

New England Aquarium