Great White Sharks Spotted in Florida Waters

Two great white sharks have been spotted off the coast of Jacksonville Beach, according to the OCEARCH ocean research group.

One of the sharks, which is 16 feet long and weighs in at 3,456 pounds, is named Mary Lee and was tagged on Septemper 17 off the coast of Cape Cod by OCEARCH.

And today, via the magic of GPS, Mary Lee was spotted swimming 200 yards off the coast of Jacksonville Beach shortly after 12:30 a.m. The shark was then spotted just 15 miles offshore Tuesday afternoon.

OCEARCH then advised local police that another great white, which had also been tagged in Cape Cod, had moved into the area 40 miles off the coast.

The sharks were caught last year and then had trackers tagged to their dorsal fins before being released. Every time their fins breach the water, the device beams their location up to a lab via satellite. 

OCEARCH is trying to figure out why two separate great whites have traveled thousands of miles into the same waters.

"We only tagged two and they both came to Florida," said OCEARCH's Chris Fischer. "They've traveled thousands of miles to that spot and now they've been living in that spot for two months now. What's going on over there?"

People food is delicious?

Okay, not really (but maybe?). 

OCEARCH's hope is to not only get new information on great whites, but find better ways to protect them.

"Without a robust future for our ocean, there will be no robust future for our kids and our planet," Fischer said.

Police are recommending that beachgoers and surfers stay out of the water until the sharks leave the area.

You can track the sharks on OCEARCH's Facebook page.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph