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Researchers: First great white shark known to swim across Atlantic

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The great white shark Lydia being tagged with a GPS-tracking device in Florida. (Photo: Ocearch.org Facebook)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A great white shark named Lydia has become the first known shark to swim from one side of the Atlantic Ocean to the other, researchers with Ocearch.org. said on the site’s Facebook page.

The 14-foot, 2,000-pound Lydia has covered more than 19,400 miles so far. She was tagged with a GPS-tracking device off Jacksonville, Fla., as part of an Ocearch scientific project, which is being led by Gregory Skomal, senior fisheries biologist with the Massachusetts Marine Fisheries. She is now headed toward either Ireland or Britain.

Lydia crossed the Mid-Atlantic Ridge — the rough boundary between east and west — Sunday morning.

“Truly a momentous occasion, Lydia has etched her place in the history of Atlantic white shark research and showed the power and value of spot tagging. She is single-handedly raising awareness around the world,” John Chisholm, fisheries biologist at the Massachusetts Shark Research Program said in the Ocearch Facebook page.

“Lydia’s remarkable trans-ocean journey reminds us that no one locality, state or nation owns these remarkable migrators of the sea. If we are to save the sharks, we have an obligation not only to protect them in our waters, but also to work with other countries towards global conservation of sharks,” Bob Hueter, of Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, said on the same Facebook page.

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Tracking of Lydia the great white shark. (Map courtesy of Ocearch.org)

 

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