Lydia the great white shark that weighs more than 2000 lbs appears to be heading to the coast of Britain, and if the swim across the Atlantic goes as planned, she can be expected to arrive before the start of the week. Oceanic scientists and marine biologists have been tracking the female shark for at least 19,000 miles after she began swimming across the Atlantic from the coast of Florida. The great white has swam almost 400 miles in the last 3 days.
Lydia, has been tagged and is being tracked by satellite, and is currently about 1000 miles off the British coast, near,a ridge in the mid-Atlantic region. If the current pace and path is continued, the ocean predator may be on the beaches near Cornwall in 48 hrs.The event is significant because if she crosses the Mid-Atlantic, she will be the first great white shark to do so. The scientists have no idea of her destination or how far she will travel , but possibilities include the Mediterranean, the African coastline, or even Europe.
The Ocearch project involves some ground-breaking research that is designed to learn more about the migration or navigational habits of sharks. After the sharks are captured, they are lifted out of the water with the use of a hydraulic platform, and supplied with water, blood samples are drawn, and a series of tests are conducted. A honing device, which is essentially a GPS unit is placed in the dorsal fin, to enable tracking the location anywhere in the world. Lydia the great white who appears to heading to the UK, is more than 4 meters in length, and was tagged in March of 2013, near Jacksonville. She has swam more than 31,000 km and is more than 3,000 miles away from where she was initially tracked.
Dr Gregory Skomal, a senior marine biologist with Massachusetts Marine Fisheries, says that they are beginning to learn much more about shark travel as the Ocearch project has allowed scientists to collect much more data on the biology, health and migration of sharks. It is hope that the endangered species can be protected, while the public is educated. It is not uncommon for Great white sharks to travel long distances, as another female great white named Nicole, swam a distance of more than 12,000 miles in return trip to Australia from the coast of South Africa.
There are more than 440 known species of sharks and Great white may live as long as 70 years,and become mature by the age of 15.They may be known as the most feared predators in the ocean, and have no recognized nemesis, which accounts for their longevity. Great whites can consume more than 22,000 pounds of food each year, however, they do not have a preference for humans, although the species are among the ones that have recorded the highest number of fatal attacks against humans.
In addition to Lydia, the great white shark who appears to be headed to Britain, the Ocearch project is currently tracking 70 great white sharks.
Written by Dale Davidson