Great white shark in Placentia Bay

Terry Roberts
Published on October 28, 2013
Great White Tracker

A great white shark that was tagged in the waters off Florida in early March has made its way to Placentia Bay,

A great white shark that was tagged in the waters off Florida in early March has made its way to Placentia Bay, according to a research organization called OCEARCH.


A team with the non-profit group tagged a 4.4 metre, 1,000 kilogram shark near Jacksonville on March 3, and named it Lydia before releasing it.

A video and photos of the tagging can be viewed at the following link:

Users can also track Lydia’s movements on the website.

Great whites have been seen in Newfoundland waters before, but this may be the first time a tagged great white has been noted.

In a recent posting on its website, OCEARCH officials issued the following notice:

“Attn: Marystown, Newfoundland - Lydia … is between Green and Long Islands. We realize this does not appear to be a heavily populated area but felt we should share this information with the local community.”

According to OCEARCH, Lydia has travelled a total of more than 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometres) since she was tagged more than seven months ago.

The great white is arguably the most famous of shark species, having been featured as a ferocious man eater in a bestselling novel — and later a blockbuster movie — called Jaws. It is considered the world’s largest predatory fish.

Meanwhile, an official with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Simon R. Thorrold, posted the following message on the OCEARCH website after learning of Lydia’s northerly sojourn.

"Lydia is definitely chilling out off the coast of Newfoundland — a realtime weather buoy is reporting sea surface temperatures of nine degrees Celsisus.

“But what is she doing so far north, so late into the fall? Lydia seems to enjoy dispelling every generalization that we come up with in terms of white shark migration in the north Atlantic.

“At the same time she is making a great case for more tagging efforts so that we can start developing a population-level understanding of the causal connections between regional oceanography, prey distributions and the white shark movements.”

OCEARCH describes itself as a non-profit organization with a global reach for unprecedented research on great white sharks and other large apex predators.

OCEARCH is a leader in open source research, sharing data in near-real time for free through the Global Shark Tracker, enabling students and the public to learn alongside PhDs.

Research expeditions are conducted worldwide aboard the M/V OCEARCH, which serves as both a mothership and at-sea laboratory.

The group uses a custom build hydraulic platform to safely lift mature sharks out of the ocean for tagging and other studies.