OCEARCH helps researchers get hard data on sharks
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.
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.
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.”