Mary Lee, the great white shark with a Twitter account that has captivated New Jersey residents over the last few days, has made her presence known off Island Beach State Park as she continues to swim along the Garden State coastline.
The shark’s fin broke the surface at 6:31 a.m., according to NJ.com, alerting researchers to Mary Lee’s presence just a few miles from the park. A tracking device attached to Mary Lee in 2012 by Ocearch allows them to detect her any time the great white’s dorsal fin rises above the waves, and in recent days the shark has spent a great deal of time near the ocean’s surface. Since Thursday morning, Mary Lee has been recorded more than 25 times off the New Jersey coastline as she lingers in shallow water.
— Chris Fischer (@ChrisOCEARCH) May 9, 2015
According to marine biologist Bryan Frazier, Mary Lee’s recent coastal pattern, which keeps her just a few miles from populated beaches, should be little cause for alarm.
“We know that [great white sharks] take advantage of shallow waters,” he said. “This is one of the few great white sharks in the Atlantic that has been tagged and they are constantly coming close to shore without interacting with humans.”
— Chip (@FOHChip) May 9, 2015
The 16-foot, 3,456-pound great white shark has traveled along the east coast for years, as New York Magazine reports, but her movements have only been revealed to researchers since she was tagged by Ocearch in Cape Cod. In the ensuing years, the shark has spent much of her time off the coast of Georgia and the Carolinas.
According to Ocearch founder Chris Fischer, Mary Lee is an exceptional shark, a fact that he was aware of from the moment she was tagged.
“I felt like at the moment, Mary Lee was the most legendary fish caught in history,” he recalled. “We were at the home of Jaws, we were capturing a great white to save it and solve the puzzle of the great white.”
— OCEARCH (@OCEARCH) May 9, 2015
Over the last few weeks, Mary Lee has moved north along the Delaware and Maryland coastlines, remaining relatively close to shore. Though Mary Lee’s proximity to land may alarm some beachgoers, as the Inquisitr previously reported, Ocearch noted that it is far from unusual to see a great white shark so close to the shoreline at this time of the year.
[Image via U.S. News and World Report]