Great White Shark Mary Lee Tracked Off Maryland And Virginia Coastlines

At 16-feet-long, Mary Lee weighs 3,456 pounds, making her a large adult female shark.

Mary Lee, a 3,456-pound female great white shark, is swimming just 20 miles off the coast of Maryland this morning, days after making her presence known near the Virginia boarder.

The shark is being tracked by non-profit group Ocearch, according to USA Today, an organization dedicated to tagging various species of sharks and documenting their positions worldwide. Over the past few days, Mary Lee has tracked a seemingly random course along the Maryland coastline, approaching to within 10 miles of the shoreline on Tuesday night. As of Wednesday morning, the white shark was detected roughly 20 miles off the Maryland side of Assateague Island.

Over the course of the last month, Mary Lee has followed a steady path from her favored habitat along the continental shelf’s Blake Plateau, situated off Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas, to the Virginia and Maryland coast. Since arriving in the region, the white shark has spent a great deal of time near the surface, “pinging” multiple times in a single day. On May 3 and 4, the great white was extremely active, crossing her own course near Assateague Island multiple times as she repeatedly surfaced.

As ABC 13 reports, Mary Lee was first tagged on Sept 17, 2012. Like Katharine, another extremely popular white shark tracked by Ocearch, Mary Lee was tagged off the coast of Cape Cod, and in the intervening years, has traveled over 19,365 miles, ranging as far afield as Florida and Nova Scotia. The great white appears to prefer the habitat of the Blake Plateau, as the Inquisitr has previously reported, spending much of the last year in the region.

While irregular, Mary Lee’s recent course has covered a vast swath of territory. In the past three days, the white shark has traveled 165.5 miles, and in the last 24 hours alone, she has covered a distance of some 82.5 miles off the coast of Delmarva.

It remains to be seen where the white shark will head next, and if warming water temperatures will entice her to return to Cape Cod or venture even further north. While Mary Lee’s proximity to the coast may be off-putting for some beachgoers, Ocearch relates that it is hardly unusual to find great white sharks swimming so close to shore at this time of year.

[Image: Ocearch/ R. Snow via Florida Today]