Massive Great White Off SC Isn't Alone

Luna, Katharine among OCEARCH sharks pinging off East Coast
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2019 10:50 AM CDT
Massive Great White Off SC Isn't Alone
A female great white shark named Miss Costa swims off a shark lift after researchers tagged and sampled her off Nantucket, Mass., on Sept. 22, 2016.   (Robert Snow/OCEARCH via AP)

(Newser) – Think twice before dipping your toes off the Carolinas. OCEARCH is currently tracking at least eight great white sharks in that region, including a 15-foot female that's among the two largest sharks ever tagged by the nonprofit ocean research group. Luna—named for Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, where the shark was caught and tagged in October 2018—had passed over an undersea bank, the Charleston Bump, some 80 miles southeast of Charleston, SC, as of May 9, reports Live Science. Per the Charlotte Observer, a famous shark, 14-foot-long Katharine, was tracked to a neighboring area Saturday after disappearing from radar for about six months. Another shark named Caroline, just under 13 feet long, was closer to shore on May 9 but was about 50 miles off the coast of Georgia as of Monday.

Though 2,137-pound Luna has been tracked as far south as the northern Bahamas, great whites tend to congregate off the Carolinas, Georgia, and the east coast of Florida in winter months, moving north as temperatures warm, per LiveScience and the Salisbury Daily Times, which notes a 9-foot-long great white male named Cabot pinged off Delaware on Tuesday. According to OCEARCH, the public shouldn't be afraid, as the sharks are likely feasting on fish carried north by the Gulf Stream. Luna's Twitter account does tell of plans beyond eating, however. "Anyone want to do some sightseeing at the local reefs&shipwrecks?!" a recent tweet reads. (Read more sharks stories.)

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