According to the OCEARCH Facebook page, the OCEARCH team has successfully tagged a 14.5′ female white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) off the coast of Jacksonville, FL. The shark, nicknamed “Lydia,” is the first white shark ever to be SPOT tagged off the Florida coast.
The travels of great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) equipped with the SPOT tags in both the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean have surprised researchers over the past month or so.
According to OCEARCH’s Global Shark Tracker, an adult female white shark (nicknamed “Mary Lee”) left Cape Cod waters last September and headed south, as researchers had expected. By the beginning January, Mary Lee had made her way to the waters off northern Florida, which was inline with the theory that Atlantic white sharks spend their time in waters off the southern states of the east coast of the United States during the winter months and then head north during the summer months when water temperatures rise.
According to the OCEARCH Global Shark Tracker, two SPOT tagged female great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) have recently reported in from the waters off of Jacksonville, FL. Pings from the sharks named “Mary Lee” and “Genie” have been transmitted from near Jacksonville within the past 48 hours. However, it is “Mary Lee” who has been making headlines, due to the fact that she entered the surf zone of Jacksonville Beach yesterday morning.
According to CNN, OCEARCH alerted Jacksonville police that the 16′ (4.8m), 3,456 lbs (1,568kg) great white shark had come within about 200m of the beach yesterday. The alert prompted police to issue a warning for potential beach goers to avoid the area.
According to the OCEARCH Global Shark Tracker data, “Mary Lee” headed back further offshore within a few hours of entering the surf zone.
"Genie," the first North Atlantic great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) to be fitted with a SPOT tag, recently reported in not far off the coast near the Georgia and South Carolina border. According to the OCEARCH Global Shark Tracker, Genie’s tag reported data on December 9 around 11am. This marks the first time that the shark’s SPOT tag has reported data outside of Cape Cod waters.
Genie was originally tagged on September 13, 2012. Her satellite tag reported data multiple times during the month of September, while she remained in Cape Cod waters. The last ping, prior to the December 9 report was on September 30.
An OCEARCH tagged white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) reported in off the coast of South Carolina, east of Charleston last week. The shark, nicknamed “Mary Lee,” is an adult female measuring 16′ (5m) in length. She was originally tagged by the OCEARCH team in September off of Cape Cod. The SPOT (Smart Position and Temperature) tags report data when a tagged shark surfaces. According to tracking data, Mary Lee has been spending her time in coastal waters off of Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina coast over the past month.
You can follow OCEARCH’s tagged sharks at their Global Shark Tracker page.