What is that in the Water?

Occasionally, when we gaze out at the waves, we see a flicker.  Was that a fin?  More often than not is not a shark.  But short of being a marine biologist how do we know?  A new tool offered by Maine officials seeks to help the public know what they saw according to wgme.com.  The online tool will help researchers and the public alike.

 

What is the Tool?

 

The online tool will be on the Maine Department of Marine Resources website.  There will be a form where you can upload your photos and write a description of what you saw and where you saw it.  Erin Summers, director of the marine department’s biological monitoring division tells wgme.com the online tool “will help people gain a better understanding of the species found in the Gulf of Maine.”  The information submitted will be reviewed by a scientist and they may reach out to you for more information on your sighting.  It’s pretty amazing how many times people think they see a shark only to find out it’s a sunfish or other creature.

 

Helping Understand Marine Animal Behavior

 

In addition to helping ordinary residents identify what they see in the ocean, the tool will also help scientists document marine behavior.  It may not have been a shark that you saw but if the scientists can identify your photo as a sunfish, it helps study the behavior of what’s really going on in the water.  Any picture I would submit would be taken from the sand, I am not going in the water this year unless it’s a pool.  Check out the website and be an armchair, or beach chair scientist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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