State requests any shark sightings to be reported to Marine Patrol; include photos, coordinates

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 3:45pm

The Maine Marine Patrol is continuing to conduct targeted patrols in southern Maine after a fatal shark attack near Bailey Island July 27. The patrols are being conducted to help confirm the presence, location and species of sharks, according to a news release from the Marine Patrol.

The agency is encouraging anyone who sees a shark to report it to a local Marine Patrol officer. This information will be used by Marine Patrol, working with Massachusetts Department of Marine Fisheries Senior Scientist Gregory Skomal, Ph.D, to identify the species of shark sighted.

Contact information for Marine Patrol can be found at maine.gov/dmr/marine-patrol/marine-contact.html

The information will also be shared with the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) which will determine any action associated with state beaches. Currently, out of caution, DACF is prohibiting swimmers at state beaches from going beyond waist-deep water.

Marine Patrol pilot Steve Ingram is searching from the air over the southern Maine coast while other officers are conducting targeted patrols from boat in and around the Casco Bay region.

Marine Patrol continues to urge caution for swimmers and other recreating in or on the water, including people in paddle craft. Specifically, Marine Patrol recommend avoiding schooling fish and seals, which are prey for great white sharks, the species responsible for Monday’s attack.

If anyone provides information to a Marine Patrol Officer about a shark sighting, Marine Patrol asks that the information include specific location information, including GPS coordinates if possible. Photos and video will also help in confirming the species of shark.