Tech & Science

Great White Sharks Are Gathering off the Coasts of the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida, Satellite Trackers Show

Three large great white sharks are currently being tracked off the coast of the Carolinas. Two of the sharks, which have been named Caroline and Luna, are over 2,000 pounds. Luna, the largest of the three, is 15 feet in length. A fourth shark was also spotted Tuesday off the coast of Daytona, Florida.

“Two of the biggest sharks we are tracking right now pinged in today to let us know they are both off the coast of South Carolina,” said a statement released on May 10 by nonprofit Ocearch, which is tracking the sharks. “Fifteen-foot Luna is out over the Charleston Bump, while 12’ 9” white shark Caroline is much closer to shore off Edisto Beach.”

According to The Charlotte Observer, Luna has been tracked for several months. She started traveling south from Canada in October 2018 and made it down to Florida before turning around and heading back north.

On May 11, Ocearch said a third shark, Katherine, was tracked off the coast of Charleston: “Just when we thought...that the battery on white shark Katharine’s tracker had run out, she surprises us by pinging in last night way off the coast of Charleston, SC,” a Facebook post said.

Katherine was first tagged five years ago, but had not appeared on Ocearch’s radar for the last six months, The Charlotte Observer reported.

Since her appearance near Edisto Beach, Caroline has moved south. Her tracker shows she is now off the coast of Georgia.

A fourth great white, a smaller, 10-foot shark called Miss May, is also being tracked off the coast of Daytona, Florida. She was spotted on May 14.

The migratory patterns of adult great white sharks are a mystery, although the latest clustering is thought to be related to the Gulf Stream. The Charlotte Observer reported that fish are being dragged north by the Gulf Stream, providing a feast for the sharks.

In a bid to understand the movements of great whites, researchers with Long Beach State University are currently trying to predict its migratory habitats by tracking juveniles. In a study published in PLOS One, the team captured and tagged juvenile great whites with satellite transmitters. They then watched where they went, discovering they used shallow habitats within 18 miles of the shore.

“Southern California was found to be suitable eight months of the year, while coastal habitats in Baja California were suitable year-round,” the team wrote.

Findings also showed that the habitat distribution changed during El Nino years—where sea surface temperatures in the Pacific were warmer than normal. Their model, the researchers say, could be used to predict the presence of great whites in order to reduce interactions with humans—especially where sharks are at risk of being caught accidentally. “Over time, you can predict where you can expect to see sharks in Southern California and in other parts of the world,” said Connor White, the study’s lead author, said in a statement.

School Of Sharks Under The Waves A school of sharks swims beneath the waves. The migratory patterns of adult great white sharks are a mystery, although the latest clustering off the Carolinas is thought to be related to the Gulf Stream. solarseven

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