Scientists have recently launched a research expedition into the depths of the ocean―specifically off the South Shore of Long Island―to study great white sharks.
The species of shark is vastly undiscovered to scientists, with their mating rituals and even where they live still unknown.
(Editor's note: I learned everything I need to know about sharks from Deep Blue Sea, so I'm all good, fam.)
Through the two-week research expedition, researchers now think they have discovered a great white nursery right here off the shores of New York.
Researchers may have also stumbled upon “the holy grail of the research," a birthing site.
The idea for the research of young sharks, sent out with the group called OCEARCH, stemmed from historical research that showed many four-foot long great whites being found and caught in the area over the last two centuries.
In 2012 OCEARCH discovered a 16-foot long female, and her return to New York this past May suggested that she was coming back to give birth.
The crew caught nine baby sharks on their expedition.
As reported by CBS, the founder of OCEARCH, Chris Fischer, said that finding the nursery is “probably the most significant discovery we’ve ever made on the ocean.” He claims that Long Island’s waters are “definitely the nursery, probably the birthing site” of great whites in the North Atlantic.
After catching the sharks, the team has 15 minutes to attach tags to their fins and perform a battery of tests including muscle biopsies. Great white sharks are considered to be a “vulnerable” species, but have not been declared as endangered by the feds.
The discovery of the baby sharks shows that the local ecosystem is healthy, as they play a crucial role in the ocean’s food chain, lessening the spread of disease by eating weak and sick fish.
Check out OCEARCH’s online shark tracker, which currently shows 11 tagged sharks near Long Island and tells you all the cool facts about each one. And if you needed another reason to avoid Long Island, sharks are probably a pretty good enough reason.[via Gothamist] [Feature Image Courtesy Instagram]