A tracking video shows a pregnant porbeagle shark’s location off the New England coast.  University of New England video

Researchers at the University of New England have tagged several porbeagle sharks off the coast of southern Maine as they hope to learn more about the fish – and keep them out of fishermen’s nets. James Sulikowski, a marine biologist and professor at the University of New England, said he and his team hope to learn the sharks’ travel tendencies and their preferred habitats.

“This will include developing hotspot locations that we can provide commercial fisherman to avoid so that fisherman can keep fishing and sharks can keep living,” Sulikowski said.

The sharks are considered to be threatened after years of fishing on both sides of the Atlantic. Porbeagle sharks are not considered to be a threat to humans, but they grow to about 8 feet long and are often confused with great whites.

University of New England video

Sulikowski says the porbeagle tagged by UNE is a pregnant female, the first to be tagged by researchers. The sharks are tracked when they come to the surface and their tracking device makes contact with a passing satellite. There are some gaps in the data because the sharks sometimes stay underwater for days.

Sulikowski says UNE researchers have also tagged three baby porbeagles and they plan to put 20 more out.

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