WASHINGTON – Scientists couldn’t be more excited to meet Lydia, the great white shark they named after tagging her Sunday off the coast of Jacksonville, Fla.
The 14-foot, 6-inch shark weighed in at 2,000 pounds and became the first great white scientists have tagged in the Mayport Poles area, researchers tell The Florida Times-Union.
After her trackers were attached and tissue and blood samples collected, scientists lowered Lydia back into the Atlantic Ocean and turned her loose, Chris Fischer, founder of Ocearch, told the paper.
The scientists with Ocearch are working on a long-term study to learn more about the movements of white sharks off the East Coast, GrindTV says. They are using a shark tracking system that allows visitors to watch white shark movements.
The tagged white sharks ‘ping’ into the GPS tracking system, enabling scientists to observe their hunting and social patterns. Checking the tracker on Wednesday, there were more than a half-dozen white sharks off the southern coast of South Africa and a handful off the coast of Florida.
Visitors can click on each shark for a more detailed look at when it was tagged, its name and size. They also can tell where the shark has been in its travels.
Finding and catching the great white shark:
While great whites have a scary reputation, they have gone undetected for years, Greg Skomal of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries told the Times-Union. This project aims to unveil that mystery.
Researchers reflect on the catch and explain what comes next:
The crew of researchers are keeping an expedition log which has more pictures and details of the catch and their project.