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Research team tags 1,400-pound shark off Cape Cod coast

A 1,400-pound shark was tagged off the coast of Cape Cod this week by a research team that set out last month to study the large predators, officials said.

The team from OCEARCH spotted the female white shark off Monomoy Thursday afternoon, said Amy Mahler, spokeswoman for the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Mahler learned about the incident from Greg Skomal of the Division of Marine Fisheries, who was with the group that tagged the animal.

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The shark was 12 feet, 7 inches long and was tagged with a satellite transmitter that will track her for up to five years, Mahler said.

When the team released the shark she was healthy and active, Mahler said.

OCEARCH named the shark Betsy in honor of its sponsor Caterpillar Inc., whose first diesel engine was named Betsy, said OCEARCH spokesman Chris Berger.

Two other great white sharks were spotted in the area but were not tagged, said Mahler.

Skomal, a marine biologist, is a senior scientist on the OCEARCH expedition. There is a core group of 22 people on the boat, including five or six scientists, who have been on the water to research and tag sharks since July 30, Mahler said.

Melissa Hanson can be reached at melissa.hanson@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @Melissa__Hanson.
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