A 12-foot-long great white shark weighing more than 1,300 pounds has been spotted in the Gulf of Mexico less than 50 miles off the Florida coast.
The shark, which is being tracked by the research group Ocearch, was located about 43 miles south of St. George Island around 11 a.m. on March 6.
In the last two years, the shark, named Maple, has spent time up the east coast of the US, traveling between the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, just west of the island of Newfoundland in Canada. .
The shark’s most recent arrival in the Gulf coincides roughly with spring break, when thousands of students visit various coastal destinations in the US and Florida.
Maple, pictured, was first tagged by nonprofit Ocearch in Nova Scotia in September 2021 and logged nearly 10,000 miles traveling between the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of St. Lawrence
The shark was recently located about 43 miles south of St. George Island around 11 a.m., less than 50 miles off the coast of Florida (Fort Lauderdale beach shown March 4) where the vacation spring are about to begin.
Great white sharks are powerful swimmers that can move at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.
Maple’s proximity to Florida isn’t particularly out of the ordinary.
“It’s not unusual for great white sharks to be 43 miles or closer to shore, it all depends on the region,” Paige Finney, a spokeswoman for Ocearch, told DailyMail.com.
“Last April, Maple was in this same region and a little closer to the coast of St. George Island,” he added.
Maple was tagged by the Ocean Research Group in Nova Scotia in September 2021 and named after the maple leaf, one of Canada’s national symbols.
Since then, he has swum nearly 10,000 miles.
At the time of her tagging, she was a subadult and was 11 feet 7 inches long and weighed about 1,264 pounds.
Finney said that two years later, it could well be bigger than it was then. Female great whites are larger than the males and tend to average 15 to 16 feet in length once fully grown.
When inspected in 2021, Maple had a wound on the left side of her body that was believed to have been inflicted by another larger white shark.
Maple had a wound on the left side of her body, believed to have been inflicted by another, larger white shark.
The shark’s proximity to Florida (bathers in Fort Lauderdale on March 4) is not particularly out of the ordinary.
Just one day after Maple washed up in the gulf, another nearly 10-foot long white shark tracked by Ocearch washed up on the other coast of Florida.
The juvenile Tancook shark, also initially tagged in Nova Scotia, turned up about 70 miles off Jacksonville Beach.
Ocearch has been tagging sharks and other animals around the world for over a decade.
The process involves pulling the shark out of the water and attaching a small satellite dish to its dorsal fin.
Although the organization has helped uncover the mysteries surrounding the elusive great white shark, it has also stirred a lot of controversy.
The non-profit organization is led by Chris Fischer and the core of its operation is a 125-foot shark research vessel that roams the seas, Reader’s Digest in Canada reported in 2021.
The great white shark was recorded in the same region within the gulf, near the coast of St. George Island.
A 2,137-pound, 15-foot great white shark is seen on the operations deck of the Ocearch research vessel
Ocearch attracts sharks to a 38-meter boat equipped with a hydraulic lift that allows the shark to be lifted out of the water
Many researchers place tags under a shark’s skin with a harpoon while it is swimming or while it is attached to the side of a boat, according to the publication.
Ocearch lures sharks onto his boat and onto an operating platform that can be raised using a hydraulic lift allowing sharks to work.
The researchers can then take samples of blood, muscle, and even parasites.
In 2016, Ocearch confronted an investigative team led by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, which had been studying the behavior of white sharks on the state’s beaches, according to the american scientist.
When Ocearch came along later, the two groups of researchers came into conflict.
“It’s extremely egregious,” biologist Greg Skomal, who led the state study, told the publication.
All we have done is respectfully ask you to wait. I don’t know why they can’t.