The Maine Marine Patrol received this photo from the operator of a drone who sighted the shark near Pond Island Ledges in July. A shark expert confirmed it is a great white shark. Courtesy of the Maine Marine Patrol

BOSTON  — Researchers in New England and Canada are teaming up to learn more about the great white sharks appearing in Northeast waters in greater numbers each summer.

More than a dozen organizations and state agencies from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine are part of the New England White Shark Research Consortium announced Tuesday.

“With growing sightings of white sharks from Rhode Island to Canada, this is the perfect time to create a unique consortium to increase understanding of white shark life history, including their migration, residency, habitat use, reproduction, and predatory behavior, factors that drive human-white shark interactions, and broader perceptions of white sharks by coastal communities,” the consortium said in a statement.

The participating organizations include the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Maine Department of Marine Resources; New Hampshire Department of Natural and Cultural Resources; the University of Massachusetts; the New England Aquarium; Arizona State University; Fisheries and Oceans Canada; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Atlantic Shark Institute, Atlantic White Shark Conservancy and the Center for Coastal Studies.

A woman killed swimming in Harpswell, Maine in July was the first confirmed shark fatality in the state’s history. In Massachusetts, a bodyboarder was killed and another man was seriously injured during two separate shark attacks in 2018.

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