VENTNOR CITY, NJ — Great white Mary Lee's path of pings has been revised to show that she is swimming southeast of Atlantic City.
The 16-foot, 3,500-pound shark apparently didn't venture in the extremely shallow waters of the Great Egg Inlet off the southernmost tip of Long Beach Island. Rather, her last ping was registered at 7:59 p.m. on June 6 farther south — about 15 miles off the coast between Ventnor City and Margate, according to Ocearch’s Global Shark Tracker
And her travels along the Jersey shoreline continue to keep social media abuzz with activity. " Please note: Dorset Ave Bridge in Ventnor City is under repairs — make alternate plans!" tweeted Brian Calligy. Perhaps Mary Lee's own tweet to her 116,000 Twitter followers sums it up best: "I guess it's no secret, I'm a
#NewJerseyGirl at heart."
Since Mary Lee was tagged off Cape Cod, Mass., on September 17, 2012, she has cruised up and down the East Coast — from Nova Scotia to the Turks and Caicos Islands — for a total of some 40,000 miles. Her last appearance off the Jersey coast was May 2016, where she was tracked off Atlantic City before heading north to cooler waters.
What's the latest on Cisco — Mary Lee's travel mate for a short time — who was last pinged some 30 miles off of Cape May 11 days ago? He finally pinged at 9:23 a.m. on June 6, but did not surface long enough to get an exact location. The nearly 9-foot, 362-pound immature great white 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 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.
This time of year, great white sharks leave their winter locations along the southeastern United States as water temperatures begin to climb and they head north to colder waters, according to Ocearch, the Park City, Utah-based leader in generating critical scientific data related to tracking (telemetry) and biological studies of keystone marine species, such as great white and tiger sharks.