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Plymouth 400 Bass and Blue Committee in Partnership with Merrill Engineers and Land Surveyors Donating Shark Beacon to Town of Plymouth

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PLYMOUTH, MA— Plymouth 400, Inc., the organization planning the events and programs commemorating the 400th anniversary of the 1620 Mayflower voyage and the founding of Plymouth Colony, supports the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy’s (AWSC) initiative in taking a proactive approach in researching and protecting the public from sharks and will donate a shark beacon, which monitors the activity of tagged sharks, to the Town of Plymouth as part of its mission to promote cultural and civic engagement through education. Funds for the shark beacon were provided in part by Merrill Engineers and Land Surveyors of Plymouth, whose newest office at 26 Union Street in Plymouth opened this month for business and who recently signed on a Plymouth 400 Business Partner. Josh Bows, President of Merrill Engineers and Land Surveyors, supported this initiative with his company on behalf of the Plymouth 400 Bass and Blue Committee of which he is an active member. The Bass and Blue Committee is a volunteer committee formed to plan the annual Plymouth 400 Bass and Blue Fishing Tournament and Seafood Event in Plymouth.
The beacon will help the AWSC research and track nearby sharks and is the best preventive measure available, according to Greg Skomal, senior fisheries biologist with Massachusetts Marine Fisheries and head of the Massachusetts Shark Research Program (MSRP), who will be this year’s special guest at the Plymouth 400 Bass and Blue Tournament’s kickoff event, the “Captain and Crew Party” on Thursday, July 9.
The beacon’s technology will increase spacial coverage of the 40 tagged Great White sharks that regularly swim off of the Massachusetts coast, and will alert the Plymouth Harbormaster when one of these sharks is in or around Plymouth. Greg Skomal and representatives from AWSC urged coastal communities in Massachusetts to consider purchasing shark beacons at a public meeting in March, stressing the importance of researching the behavior of Great Whites so that communities can implement proactive plans for better protecting the public.
“In light of the recent sightings and activities of sharks in and around Plymouth and Cape Cod, we are determined to take the necessary steps to protect our community and prevent any more attacks,” said Bows. “By utilizing this shark beacon in Plymouth’s waters, we will have the ability to alert the public if a shark is in close range to our shoreline and remove any residents who might unknowingly be dangerously close. As a member of the fishing community here in Plymouth, I know firsthand how beneficial this technology will be for the Plymouth community.”
“The Plymouth 400 Bass and Blue Committee is looking forward to reviewing the data collected by our new shark beacon so that we can better educate the public about Great Whites, and we are thrilled to welcome Greg Skomal to this year’s Bass and Blue event. He is a nationally-acclaimed expert on the subject of Great Whites, and will provide some great insight to our community,” said Peter Balboni, Chair of the Plymouth 400 Bass and Blue Committee and owner of Pioppi’s Package Store in Plymouth.
Skomal will attend this year’s Bass and Blue “Captain and Crew Party” as a guest speaker to further discuss the importance of using the shark beacon’s technology as a preventive measure for the Plymouth community.
“The awareness of white sharks was raised last summer when two kayakers were spilled into the water by a shark in Plymouth,” said Skomal. “Using this technology in Plymouth is a major first step forward in getting a sense of how white sharks are utilizing these waters; from there we can look at beach safety, beach management, and additional research.”
Plymouth 400’s Bass and Blue event supports the organization’s primary goals of enhancing tourism and economic development and promoting cultural and civic engagement, while also raising awareness of the organization and its Business and Organizational Partners. The 2015 Bass and Blue event will take place on July 11th and 12th at Brewer’s Plymouth Marine. Registration for the fishing tournament is open to individuals and teams, and includes separate categories for adults and youths and cash prizes up to $1,000. The Captains and Crew kickoff event, featuring Greg Skomal, will also be at Brewer’s Plymouth Marine on Thursday, July 9th at 7pm. For more information, visit
About Plymouth 400, Inc.
Plymouth 400, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization in Plymouth, Massachusetts formed to lead the planning and execution of programs and events commemorating the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage and the founding of Plymouth Colony in 2020. The Plymouth 400 Anniversary will highlight the cultural contributions and American traditions that began with the interaction of the Wampanoag and English peoples, a story that significantly shaped the building of America.

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