3500+ Pound Great White Shark Being Tracked Off US East Coast
Modern advances in technology have done more than put a super computer in our pockets. It also allows organizations like Ocearch to collect data on marine life - everything from sea turtles to great white sharks. They even track alligators in parts of the Florida swamps, seals off the coast of California, swordfish near the Bahamas as well as various species of sharks and whales across the world's oceans.
One of the sharks recently tagged by Ocearch is named Nukumi, a female white shark measuring 17 feet, 2 inches in length and weighing 3,541 pounds. She was first tagged in October of 2020 and since then has traveled 2,225 miles. Initially tagged off the coast of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Nukumi has traveled south and her most recent location has been pinged in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of North Carolina on January 16, 2021. Ocearch describes Nukumi and why they chose to give her that name.
Nukumi, pronounced noo-goo-mee, is named after the legendary wise old grandmother figure of the Native American Mi'kmaq people, a culture that has deep roots in Canadian Maritime provinces (particularly Nova Scotia). With the new data we've collected, this matriarch will share her wisdom with us for years to come. She will continue to help balance fish stocks in the surrounding waters, and we look forward to learning more from this wise guardian of our ocean's eco-system.
You can see their tracking map in real time here. You can also follow Ocearch on Twitter.
While Ocearch is a great way to check up on shark sightings at your favorite beaches, they do so much more than that. Ocearch launched its first expedition in 2007, heading to Guadalupe Island Mexico. Since the first expedition, there have been dozens of expeditions carried out by nearly 200 scientists and in that time over 400 animals have been tagged with several devices allowing the scientists to track and study the behaviors of these animals. But they do more than just tag them. The animals that are caught on the expeditions undergo a collection of more than a dozen sample collections and measurements before being re-released. The teams of scientists execute these tests and measurements in a streamlined and seamless manner to reduce the risk to the animals.
Tags such as SPOT, acoustic, and accelerometer are attached, morphometrics are recorded, and samples, such as blood and tissue, are collected.
OCEARCH has carefully crafted its procedures to minimize stress and risk to the sharks during research expeditions.
The data that is collected is then used for ocean-life conservation as well as resource management, public safety and education. The organization offers a number of resources with their free STEM curriculums available for students in Kindergarten through Eighth grades.