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Why shark's presence in Long Island Sound is good news.

Byline: Alex Horton The Washington Post

Cabot's 500 pounds of churning white flesh sped though North Carolina waters last week, part of a group traversing shipwrecks, seeking bounties of fish.

In a matter of days, Cabot traveled hundreds of miles north, sliced through Block Island Sound and hunted Tuesday for a meal near Greenwich, Connecticut.

"For the first time ever, we are tracking a white shark in the Long Island Sound," the ocean life research group Ocearch said on Twitter.

Later, the group clarified its tweet and said it was the first time a shark of Cabot's size and maturity was tracked there. It detected a juvenile shark in the sound in 2016.

But beachgoers panic-stricken over a Memorial Day weekend "Jaws" scenario should feel fortunate over Cabot's presence, which indicates cleaner waters full of the sea life that drew him in the first place.

Ocearch, which has tagged 43 sharks, outfitted Cabot with a tracking device last year in Nova Scotia.

Cabot's journey up and down the coast is typical for sharks pursuing warm waters. The 10-footer ripped down the Eastern Seaboard after he was tagged in October and reached Florida waters around Christmas, according to tracking data.

After a jaunt into the Gulf of Mexico, Cabot reversed course and headed back north in the summer. In just over three months, Cabot has traveled more than 4,000 miles.

"These sharks have been coming here for a millennia; for as long as the East Coast of the United States has existed, these sharks have been in their waters," Robert Hueter, a senior scientist at Ocearch, told CBS News last week.

Chris Fischer, the group's founding chairman and expedition leader, said the group was surprised to see Cabot so far west, CBS News reported, and speculated his presence was linked to environmental efforts to clean up the sound.

"This is something to celebrate," Fischer said, according to CBS News.

"I know they've been working hard in the sound to clean it up and to get life to come back to the region, and when you have an apex predator like Cabot move in to the area, that's a sign there's a lot of life in the area and you've probably got things moving in the right direction."

Soaring population growth, climate change and sewage have harmed the waters, but a 10-year effort by federal and state officials to clean up the region appears to have yielded promising results, the Journal News reported, citing a report from the environmental group Save Our Sound.

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Title Annotation:Nation_
Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:May 22, 2019
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