HomeTop NewsUSAFear Returns As Great White Shark Spotted Off the Coast of NJ

Fear Returns As Great White Shark Spotted Off the Coast of NJ

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Great white shark, known as ‘mindless killers’ and ‘fond of human flesh’ makes a comeback, seen off the coast of New Jersey.

A migrating great white shark weighing 1,000 pounds (453 kilograms) appeared off the shore of New Jersey on April 28 while looking for richer fishing grounds farther north.

When the shark was first caught and tagged in 2019, off West Ironbound Island near Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, researchers nicknamed it “Ironbound.” When the 12.4-foot-long (3.7-meter) shark was discovered on satellite, it was migrating.

“Mating season is over, we think,” said Bob Hueter, chief scientist at the nonprofit Ocearch, adding “and Ironbound is on his way north to get into some good feeding ground and bulk up again for the next year.” 

Ocearch tags and monitors great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) to learn more about their mysterious travel patterns. An innocuous device called a SPOT tag is affixed to the shark’s dorsal fin and transmits the shark’s whereabouts to a GPS satellite. After a few years, the tag is supposed to come off.

The trackers have a small error margin, so the shark’s precise location may be wrong by a few feet or meters when it surfaces within the range of a GPS satellite.

As explained by Hueter to CNN, Ocearch has tagged great white sharks as long as 17.5 feet (5 meters) and as heavy as 4,000 pounds (1,814 kg), indicating that Ironbound is a small shark.

Since being tagged, Ironbound has traveled approximate 13,000 miles (20,921 kilometers). According to Ocearch data, it was last seen on May 3, when the adult male was much farther out in the Atlantic Ocean, due east of Philadelphia.

Great white sharks are well-known to the general public thanks to their appearances in films such as “Jaws” (1975) and “Sharknado” (2013), as well as its sequels. However, their actions are not at all like those depicted in the movies.

“White sharks are often portrayed as ‘mindless killers’ and ‘fond of human flesh” said Laura Ryan, a postdoctoral researcher at Macquarie University in Australia.

“However, this does not seem to be the case; we just look like their food.”

They migrate for food and reproducing, and researchers have found them in temperate and tropical oceans all around the world, including off the shores of the United States, Australia, and South Africa.

According to a 2018 assessment by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), great white sharks are endangered and their population is declining. While sharks are not technically endangered, they are in danger of becoming so owing to human dangers like overfishing.

Image Credit: Getty

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