PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Shark researchers from three states are launching a five-year study of juvenile great white sharks off the coast of southern New England and Long Island, New York, to better understand their life cycle, according to a published report.

“A better understanding of these younger sharks is critical for their conservation and long-term health,” Jon Dodd, executive director of the Atlantic Shark Institute in Wakefield, Rhode Island said in a statement to The Providence Journal on Tuesday. “More information is needed related to reproduction, habitat use, abundance, migratory patterns, and more.”

Dodd is teaming with Greg Skomal, a shark biologist with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, and Craig O’Connell, director of the O’Seas Conservation Foundation in Montauk, New York.

The scientists plan to capture the young sharks, take tissue samples, tag them and release them to help them learn more.

“Combining the respective knowledge, data and research expertise of Dr. Skomal and Dr. O’Connell with the resources and support of the Atlantic Shark Institute, is truly a win-win for science and these incredibly important white sharks,” Dodd said.

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