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One-Ton Great White Frolicking Off Florida Coast

Unama'ki, 2nd largest white shark tracked in NW Atlantic by nonprofit, started out in Nova Scotia
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2019 7:42 AM CDT
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One of Unama'ki's friends?   (Getty Images/Rasmus-Raahauge)

(Newser) – A giant she-shark has been working her way down the East Coast from Canada, and her latest sighting is in the waters off of Florida. CNN reports the 1-ton great white—named Unama'ki, a term used by the Mi'kmaq First Nations people to mean "land of the fog," per Newsweek—was first tagged in September up near Nova Scotia by the marine life nonprofit OCEARCH, and she's had a productive swim over the last month or so. Her tracker first placed her off the coast of New Jersey's Atlantic City, then near Myrtle Beach, SC, in mid-October before she was pinged in the Florida Keys on Saturday. The tracker placed her heading toward the Gulf side of Florida as of Monday.

OCEARCH says the creature, which measures 15 feet, 5 inches, is the second largest great white shark it's ever tagged in the northwest Atlantic. The nonprofit has teamed up with SeaWorld to follow great whites in the hopes of finding out more about their eating and breeding habits, and it's hoping Unama'ki will bring them right to a major site. "As a big mature female, Unama'ki has the potential to lead us to the site where she gives birth and [expose] a new white shark nursery," OCEARCH says. The Naples Daily News notes that another great white, a 2,300-pounder named Katharine, has become somewhat of a star in the Sunshine State, with researchers tracking her movements for the past five years. (Read more great white shark stories.)

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