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January 24, 2013

Track White Sharks Along the East Coast

White Sharks "Mary Lee" and "Genie" visit the North Carolina, Florida and Georgia coasts this month.


At least two tagged great white sharks are swimming along the US eastern coastline, sometimes surprisingly close to shore. The two sharks were tagged previously, allowing them to be tracked by OCEARCH research. [You can track them here.] To make them easier to follow (we assume), the two sharks were given names by research taggers: Mary Lee and Genie.

Mary Lee Gets Plenty of Attention

The 16-foot Mary Lee received plenty of attention off the North Carolina coast this past week, as "pings" showed the shark making constellations along the coast. Some of the pings included locations near Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the Outer Banks, Nags Head and even Pamlico Sound.

What's surprising, and a bit unnerving, is how close to shore she came at times.

In December 2012, she entered the Cape Fear River briefly before traveling south, according to pings from OCEARCH. On January 21, the shark tracker showed Mary Lee had entered and exited Pamlico Sound through Ocracoke Inlet. Understand that pings can be off by as much as six miles, so it's possible the shark was nearshore, and not actually inside Pamlico Sound or the Cape Fear River.

Mary Lee is a 3,456-pound female shark that was originally tagged off Cape Cod, Massachusetts in September 2012. Mary Lee is currently headed north, moving along the Virginia Beach coastline.

Genie Heads South to Georgia

The 2,300-pound, 14-foot female shark Genie was located off Nantucket in September 2012. Since then she's swam hard for the last couple months, finally revealing herself off the Georgia Coast in December 2012. Since then she's headed south to Jacksonville, Florida, never getting too close to shore.

Genie is currently tracking north along the South Carolina Coast.


In the map above, the orange dot is the location of white shark Mary Lee; the green dot is Genie.

Stay up to date! To track sharks in the U.S. and along the South African coasts, check out the OCEARCH Global Tracking site.