Shore Report

Count ’Em: Fifth Great White Shark Tracked Off Jersey Coast This Year

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Gurney, a young 4 ½-foot male weighing nearly 62 pounds, was tracked by Ocearch about 30 miles off Long Branch at 2:54 p.m. on October 25. Credits: Ocearch.org
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LONG BRANCH, NJ — Another great white shark has surfaced along the New Jersey coast, but the whereabouts of three others that were last tracked not too far away are known. And there have been no signs of the ever-popular Mary Lee since June.  

Gurney, a young 4 ½-foot male weighing nearly 62 pounds, was tracked about 30 miles off Long Branch at 2:54 p.m. on October 25, traveling south from where he had been tagged on August 11 off Montauk, N.Y., by Ocearch’s Global Shark Tracker.

Bruin, another juvenile male, last pinged on September 25 a bit farther north off Highland, while two young females — Finn and Amagansett —were tracked in the same general area on September 18 and September 14, respectively. Both appeared to be following a northbound route at that time.

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Shortly after being tagged by Ocearch on August 12 off Montauk, N.Y., Finn began traveling south and settled off the coast along Monmouth County on September 1, where she stayed before her latest move to go north. Bruin also was tagged on that day off Montauk, but ventured southwest far from the coast before heading east back inland.

After being tagged on August 20 also off Montauk, Amagansett traveled farther south, circling around the waters off the Ocean County coast before making the pivot northbound.

When they were tagged, Finn measured nearly 5 feet and weighed 79 pounds, and Amagansett came in at nearly 5½ feet and 92 pounds and Bruin at nearly 5½ feet and 101 pounds.

Meanwhile, Mary Lee — the 16-foot, 3,500-pound shark that became a social media sensation this spring with her travel adventures in the Atlantic Ocean off New Jersey — registered her last ping on June 17 about 10 miles off Long Beach Island.

Since Mary Lee was tagged off Cape Cod, Mass., on September 17, 2012, she has traveled up and down the East Coast — from Nova Scotia to the Turks and Caicos Islands — for a total of some 40,000 miles.

Despite her tracking silence, Mary Lee remains a social media star with a 129,000-member Twitter following, while Finn, Bruin and Gurney are followed by 1,000 each, and Amagansett’s lags with nearly 900.

All five great white sharks are among dozens of apex predators throughout the world that have been tagged by Ocearch researchers with global positioning satellite (GPS) devices in order to track their movements to better understand their behaviors.

Ocearch registers a ping when the shark’s dorsal fin breaks through the water, transmitting a signal that provides an estimated location. The group then displays a marker on a Google Earth map indicating where the ping was received.

Based in Park City, Utah, Ocearch is the leader in generating critical scientific data related to tracking (telemetry) and biological studies of keystone marine species, such as great white and tiger sharks.

Ocearch’s shark tracking system shows two young great whites heading north away from the New Jersey coast — Finn is depicted in yellow and Amagansett in orange.

TAPinto Belmar/Lake Como is Belmar and Lake Como’s only free daily newspaper. Accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, it is a locally owned news organization serving the community. Sign up for our free daily e-News, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

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