JERSEY SHORE, NJ — It’s been nearly three months since Mary Lee has been tracked off the Jersey coast, but two younger great white sharks are now finding those waters appealing.
Finn was last “pinged” at 9:35 p.m. on September 7 about 10 miles off the Jersey shoreline between Long Branch and Asbury Park, while Amagansett has been tracked in waters farther south, about 30 miles off of Toms River, according to Ocearch’s Global Shark Tracker.
In August, Ocearch researchers tagged both juvenile female sharks off Montauk, N.Y. — Finn, measuring nearly 5 feet and weighing 79 pounds, and Amagansett at nearly 5½ feet and 92 pounds.
Finn began traveling south shortly after being tagged on August 12, settling off the coast along Monmouth County on September 1. After being tagged on August 20, Amagansett wasted no time heading south and was first pinged at least 60 miles off the North Jersey coast three days later, only to continue her southbound travels since then.
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 at 6:54 a.m. on June 17.
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.
All three 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.