What to Know
- Researchers have been tracking Mary Lee, the great white shark of Twitter fame, since tagging her in Cape May in 2012
- The 16-foot, 3,456-pound shark most recently pinged in the Atlantic Ocean off LBI Thursday morning; a day earlier she was near Atlantic City
- Another great white, Cisco, has also pinged in the NJ area, but he hasn't surfaced long enough since to get an idea of where he is now
If you plan to go for a sail in the waters off the Jersey Shore this weekend, you're gonna need a bigger boat.
Mary Lee, the svelte 16-foot-long great white shark with more than 113,000 Twitter followers, is back in our area.
The shark surfaced in the Atlantic Ocean off Long Beach Island around 5:20 a.m. Thursday and then again at 6:56 a.m., according to nonprofit research group OCEARCH’s Global Shark Tracker.
The 3,456-pound shark swam from near Atlantic City north to LBI over a 24-hour period, her tracker showed.
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Over the Memorial Day weekend Mary Lee -- no stranger to the Atlantic Ocean off New Jersey's coast -- surfaced in the water near Cape May, New Jersey, and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware before heading north along the coast.
Researchers have been monitoring the shark’s movements since tagging her off Cape Cod on Sept. 17, 2012. She’s made several trips to New Jersey over the last four and a half years, quipping in a tweet as recently as Wednesday morning about meeting people for coffee on the boardwalk in Atlantic City.
Mary Lee isn't the only shark in our region. Cisco -- weighing around 362 pounds and measuring 8 feet, 7 inches long -- appeared Friday morning at the mouth of the Delaware Bay, slightly closer to Lewes, Delaware, than Cape May. Cisco hasn't surfaced long enough since to get a reading on his latest location.
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OCEARCH expedition leader Chris Fischer says the group's mission is to gain data about the white shark population in hopes of protecting fish in the ocean. He says people shouldn’t fear a shark being in local waters. Instead, they should celebrate it because of what a shark means to the ocean ecosystem.
"People should be terrified of an ocean that's not full of sharks. They keep everything in balance," Fischer said. "So, if we want to make sure that our great-grandchildren can eat fish sandwiches, we need lots of big sharks."
You can track the movements of Mary Lee and Cisco by clicking here or by downloading the Global Shark Tracker app for your iPhone or Android. You can also follow Mary Lee and Cisco on Twitter.