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15-foot great white shark tracked off the Carolinas. It weighs 2,137 pounds

OCEARCH helps researchers get hard data on sharks

OCEARCH is a research vessel and at-sea laboratory that generates critical data to expand behavioral and ecological research on the large predators in the North Atlantic Ocean.
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OCEARCH is a research vessel and at-sea laboratory that generates critical data to expand behavioral and ecological research on the large predators in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Shark trackers say a 15-foot, 2,137-pound great white shark is traveling up the Carolinas coast on a path toward the Outer Banks.

That’s a fish about the length of a Volkswagen Passat.

OCEARCH, a nonprofit that tags and tracks sharks, reported in a Facebook post that the 15-foot shark named Luna showed up on tracking records May 9 at 11:34 a.m. off Charleston.

It was swimming through a deep sea area known as the Charleston Bump, 80 to 100 miles off the coast. That section of ocean gets its name from a sudden rise above the largely flat coastal floor off Charleston, according to NOAA. Experts say the bump “deflects” the northward flow of the Gulf Stream offshore.

OCEARCH has been tracking the 15-foot shark for months. It began its journey traveling south from the Canadian coast in October 2018 and made it to the southern tip of Florida before doing a U-turn toward the Carolinas, according to OCEARCH tracking.

Luna is one of eight great white sharks currently being tracked by OCEARCH off North Carolina and South Carolina.. Four of them are off the Outer Banks, says OCEARCH. The others range in size from 9 feet 8 inches to 14 feet 9 inches, says OCEARCH.

A live 10-foot tiger shark being examined by researchers regurgitated, and it presented the scientists with a challenge to figure out what the shark had been eating. The mystery proved tough to solve.

Among the eight is a 2,300-pound female named Katherine that OCEARCH thought it lost track of due to a depleted battery in the tracker.

Katherine was tagged 5 years ago, says OCEARCH, and had gone off the agency’s radar for six months ago before showing up May 11, not far from Luna’s location.

Great white sharks are known to grow to more than 20 feet long and can weigh 2.5 tons or more, according to National Geographic.

Experts believe the great white sharks off the Carolinas are doing what sharks do best: Feasting on fish dragged north by the Gulf Stream, say OCEARCH.

They aren’t picky eaters,” says SharkInsider.com. “The great white shark diet seems to be as diverse as they come.... These fish are extremely curious creatures.”

OCEARCH, a research vessel and at-sea laboratory catches and tags Hilton, a 12-foot male white shark, off the coast of Hilton Head, SC in March 2017.

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