Huge Great White Shark 'Large Marge' Pictured off Coast of Cape Cod by Researchers

A large great white shark was recently caught on camera lurking just beneath the surface of the ocean off Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

The image, showing an up-close glimpse of the apex predator swimming through clear water, was published to Twitter by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, a scientific research organization that studies movements and behaviors of the species.

"We often refer to views of white sharks off the coast of Cape Cod as 'purple smudges' since the water can be murky, making them challenging to see," the group wrote in a caption alongside the image of the massive fish. "This image of a white shark is an example of the opposite, when the water is clear and the views are stunning!"

Researchers said the picture was taken a couple of weeks ago from an eco-tourism boat off of Chatham, a seaside town located in Barnstable County.

On Twitter, a biologist claimed to recognize the exact shark in question, identifying it as "Large Marge," officially WS12-07, based on markings on the pelvic and dorsal fins.

We often refer to views of white sharks off the coast of Cape Cod as "purple smudges" since the water can be murky, making them challenging to see. This image of a white shark is an example of the opposite, when the water is clear and the views are stunning! pic.twitter.com/tT9qPUOzSF

— Atlantic White Shark Conservancy (@A_WhiteShark) August 24, 2020

What makes this encounter even better is the fact that I recognize that white shark, it's WS12-07 aka 'Large Marge'! I can identify her by the natural markings on her pelvic fin and her notched dorsal. She was 1st seen in 2012 and last seen by Keith Ellenbogen in 2018. pic.twitter.com/qUX3IaiwTA

— MA Sharks 🦈 (@MA_Sharks) August 24, 2020

WHDH reported that several beaches were briefly closed to swimmers yesterday after the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy's Sharktivity app showed multiple sharks in the region, which is known to be frequented by a wide variety of the species.

Newcomb Hollow Beach in Wellfleet was shut in the morning as two shark tags pinged, while a third shark was logged in the afternoon. Cahoon Hollow Beach was also closed temporarily after a shark was spotted close to the shore by a helicopter crew.

The state's shark research program, a unit of the Division of Marine Fisheries, says it has tagged and tracked the movements of a variety of species since 1989, including whale sharks, blue sharks, tiger sharks, hammerheads and shortfin makos.

Its studies into great whites, partially funded by The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, indicate seasonal sightings off the coast have increased in recent years, likely because the area is also home to a growing population of gray seals.

The program has tagged over 120 white sharks off the eastern coast of Cape Cod since 2009, with data suggesting movements are broader than previously thought.

"When they leave Cape Cod in the late fall, they migrate to overwintering habitat off the southeastern US and Gulf of Mexico. Larger white sharks (>9 ft.) move into the open Atlantic to as far as the Azores, while diving to depths as great as 3,000 ft. Many of the tagged white sharks return to Cape Cod each year," the department says.

Earlier this month, August 3, a Massachusetts State Police helicopter crew that scopes out waters used by swimmers off Cape Cod caught video footage of a white shark that was estimated at 10-feet-long, and released the clip via its social media account.

The Massachusetts State Police Air Wing provides an important service every summer in helping patrol the waters off Cape...

Posted by Massachusetts State Police on Monday, August 3, 2020
Great white shark
A great white shark swims off the shore of Cape Cod, Massachusetts on July 13, 2019. JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty