Atlantic Great White Shark Research Project

Note, this info is now nearly a year old. But I was personally unaware of these study results. " New England’s great white sharks spend half their time in shallow water"

And a participation project, also set up last summer but better paddling weather is coming.
" New web tool to help Mainers, biologists report and identify sharks"
Article w link at New web tool to help Mainers, biologists report and identify sharks - Portland Press Herald


When they tag white sharks off Cape Cod a lot are within sight of the beach.
Some people here were upset because OCEARCH was setting baited hooks very close to public beaches. That practice worked well for them and they had a good tagging season.
Makes me think how many close encounters I may of had without even knowing.

I live along the southern NC coast off of Wilmington, NC. A few years ago one of the biggest females was 1.5 miles offshore of my house, 30-40 feet deep. Then not longer after that she came up the Cape Fear river a few miles. I live along the cape between the Cape Fear and the Atlantic. Good source of food around the mouth of the river but it was still surprising. We have a lot to learn but what we do know is they are definitely not predictable.

1 Like

There is a lot unknown and to be further researched with GWS. What I do know is that the expanding seal population congregating off the Cape is a food source that is pulling in more GWS.

Despite my son living a short drive from there, I also know I WILL NOT surf that area of the coastline ever. :slight_smile:


1 Like

I’d love to see a Great White! Maybe from my sailboat rather than the kayak, though…

I think the vast majority of the general public has no idea how frequently sharks get close to beaches. Given how paranoid many people are about even harmless species that is probably a good thing. A couple of years ago I saw a 10’ hammerhead chasing a big tarpon right off East Beach at Fort Desoto (coincidentally the start beach for the Everglades Challenge!) and no one on the beach had any clue.

I love sharks - seeing one while paddling totally makes my day. But then again us marine biologists are a little weird!

Mary …yes they have names. … migrates up past Jacksonville headed to Maine and has often come within 100 yards of the beach.

Currently, Ulysses (GWS) is east of Jacksonville about 50 miles (OCEARCH ping March19).
I normally check the site before my occasional paddle around Cumberland Island.
Not that it would be a GW that would come after me, there are plenty of smaller sharks that will take a nip at anything in their path.

There is a video (videos) on YouTube now that shows the aftermath of a swimmer in Australia being hit and then completely taken by a white shark. It is recent and it is graphic. I stumbled upon it by chance and did not know I was about to see what I saw. I am not posting a link because if anyone chooses to watch they can do so on their own. Be warned.
I would also love to see Great White but only from a very big boat.

A bodyboarder got hit by a GWS several years back at the Chatham (Cape Cod) break and didn’t make it. Those brave souls who jumped into the water to pull him out were pretty psychologically traumatized. I know there was a lot of buzz about the future of surfing along the Cape’s outer shores. Of course, you also encounter that fringe of “human centeredness” which want to kill off the seals, and the sharks (anything else that impinges on our comfort).

For me, there are a pluses to surfing in the winter. One reason is that there are less surfers. Two, there are less chances of encountering a GWS in sub 50 degree water.


1 Like