At the January 22nd Trustee meeting, Finn O’Rourke, an East Hampton High School sophomore, presented his shark project to be conducted beginning this year and continuing through 2026 when he will graduate. Finn is studying with his science teacher, Dr. Stephanie Forsberg, a former Town Trustee.
The sharks will be caught by rod and reel and once brought to the boat, an incision and the satellite tag will be inserted. The shark will be released into the waters promptly after that. Each time the shark comes to the surface and the tag is exposed, it will “ping,” and its location will be recorded.
From Dan’s Papers – 2019
Finn will also work with Greg Metzger, a marine biology science teacher at Southampton High School. From Dan’s Papers 2019- here’s an article about the program that Greg and his local scientist friends began to research the sharks in our Long Island waters. He’s holding a satellite tag.
Article and Photo: Dan’s Papers – Desiree Keegan.
Finn has already raised $6,000 to purchase three Lotek satellite tags, each one costing $2,000. To expand his research, he asked the Trustees for a donation to purchase another satellite tag.
Deputy Clerk Jim Grimes made a motion to provide Finn with a grant of $2,000 to purchase a fourth satellite as requested by Finn. The board voted unanimously in favor of the donation and asked that Finn “fill us in on what you gleaned from the project.”
Additional information about shark tagging and the importance of Finn’s science project:
In 2016, the Trustees visited the vessel Ocearch anchored just off the coast of Montauk- When Ocearch returned to Montauk the following year to continue their research and tagging, the Trustees visited again by invitation.
Read the full article from The East Hampton Star by Christopher Walsh here:
Here’s a segment from “CBS This Morning” with the founder of Ocearch, Chris Fischer, and crew.
Ocearch is a global non-profit organization. Ocearch visited Montauk in 2016 and 2017 in search of Great White Sharks where it was discovered there was a nursery of them. The Amagansett School students helped name the YOY (Young Of The Year) juvenile sharks. “Montauk,” “Amagansett,” and “Gotham,” were just a few of the names given to the many juvenile Great White Sharks.
“We first got an idea of where the sharks were mating, and because females have an 18-month gestation period, you can follow them for 18 months and get an idea of where they’re birthing,” said Chris Fischer, the founder of Ocearch. Montauk was the first nursery discovered by Ocearch. For more information about Ocearch and their research developments and to follow the tagged sharks: https://www.ocearch.org/about/