Great white shark weighing over 450 pounds swimming off US coast

A big solid white Shark was recorded swimming off the coast of the US state of New Jersey.
The shark is named Ironbound, after West Ironbound Island near Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, where it was first seen. The creature is 3.7 meters long and weighs about 450 kilograms, according to OCEARCHa non-profit marine research group that provides open source data on shark migration.
Ironbound was the first tagged October 3, 2019, in the waters around Nova Scotia. As part of its data collection process, OCEARCH captures and adjusts sharks with an electronic tracker that drips whenever they reach the ocean’s surface.
The shark is called Ironbound and measures about 3.7 meters.
The shark is called Ironbound and measures about 3.7 meters. (OCEARCH)

Ironbound, migrating north, trickled into the waters off the coast of New Jersey around 10:30 pm on April 28.

The big fish is probably around 20 years old, according to Bob Hueter, chief scientist at OCEARCH. While formidable, Ironbound isn’t the biggest shark the organization has encountered: Hueter said OCEARCH tagged great white sharks up to 5.3 meters and up to 1.8 tons.

Shark Perth Good Friday

The WA family’s close encounter with a great white shark

“When we tagged him, he was impressive,” Hueter said of the shark.

Ironbound has traveled about 20,921 kilometers since the organization began tracking its movements.

Ironbound is sailing up and down the US East Coast after being tagged in October 2019.
Ironbound is sailing up and down the US East Coast after being tagged in October 2019. (OCEARCH)

“He went back and forth from where we found him in Nova Scotia and the Florida Keys several times,” Hueter said.

Hueter explained that great white sharks in the Atlantic Ocean make this migration every year, spending their summers in northern waters near Canada and their winters as far south as the Gulf of Mexico.

“Ironbound is no exception,” he said. In November, Ironbound pinged Pamlico Sound off the coast of North Carolina, and in March it reached close to Georgia.

Around this time of year, sharks usually start moving north.

Johnson said the shark was a Great White.
Great whites are capable of swimming great distances, with some estimates saying they can swim up to 80 kilometers in a day. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

“They’re moving north to the very rich feeding areas of Canada and the northeastern US,” Hueter said. Ironbound will likely spend most of its summer and early fall in the northern waters around Nova Scotia before turning around and returning to Florida.

Migration “is an adaptation, of course, to seasonal temperature fluxes, to where the food is,” Hueter said. He said that while scientists aren’t sure where great white sharks mate, they’ve theorized that it happens off the coast of the Carolinas during their journey.

“The mating season is over, we thought, and Ironbound is on its way north to get into a good feeding field and gain weight again for next year,” Hueter said.

Great white sharks are an important part of marine ecosystems.

“Sharks have been around for about 400 million years,” Hueter said.

“In many cases, they occupy what’s called the apex predator position, in marine food webs. Just like on land, this is an important role in terms of keeping the undersides of the food web healthy and balanced.”

While shark populations have dropped dramatically over the past four decades, great white shark populations have started to recover off the east coast, Hueter said. The animals, marked as vulnerable by International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)mainly face population decline due to overfishing.

Sharks are accidentally caught by fishermen and also face feeding problems due to overfishing of their prey.

OCEARCH uses collected data to learn about migration patterns and uncover previously unknown details about sharks’ lives.

Leave a Comment