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Maine officials have launched a new tool to help people who believe they spotted a shark

State officials say people often mistake harmless animals like basking sharks for white sharks.

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine officials have launched a new tool to help people who believe they spotted a white shark find out if it was indeed the big fish.

The Maine Department of Marine Resources has added the online tool to its website. It’s a form that allows shark spotters to upload photos and videos and submit a description of what they saw.

Erin Summers, the director of the marine department’s biological monitoring division, said the online tool will “help people gain a better understanding of the species found in the Gulf of Maine.”

She says people often mistake harmless animals like basking sharks for white sharks.