BELMAR, NJ — Wave hello and good-bye to Mary Lee. The great white shark was pinged about 30 miles off the Jersey coast between Brick and Asbury Park at 6:30 a.m. today, June 2, and is still heading north to cooler waters, according to Ocearch’s Global Shark Tracker.
Unless she does a complete about-face, the next time she may be traveling past the Jersey Shore will be the fall, when she heads south to warmer waters.
The 16-foot, 3,500-pound shark has grown to be a social media sensation since she was tagged off Cape Cod on September 17, 2012. She has been followed traveling up and down the East Coast — from Nova Scotia to the Turks and Caicos Islands — for a total of some 40,000 miles. In fact, she just earned Ocearch's Shark of the Month award for May, as she now has more than 114,000 Twitter followers.
Meanwhile, Cisco, the nearly 9-foot, 362-pound immature great white that was traveling with Mary Lee for a short time, has not been pinged since May 30. At that time, he was some 30 miles off of Cape May. So maybe it's time for him to make his move northward.
Cisco was tagged off Nantucket, Mass., on October 7, 2016, and has traveled a total of some 2,300 miles.
Mary Lee and Cisco are among dozens of apex predators throughout the world that have been tagged by Ocearch researchers with 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.