Great white tracked for last five years ‘falls off radar’

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A great white shark who’s garnered nearly 130,000 Twitter followers over the last five years has mysteriously gone silent, according to the research group tracking her.

The 16-foot-long shark named Mary Lee was tagged in the Atlantic Ocean back in 2012 by Ocearch – but, the team now says her transmitter hasn’t sent out a signal since June.

While the experts say she’s likely still alive, her transmitter might not be, meaning researchers may never hear from the famous Mary Lee again.

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A great white shark who’s garnered nearly 130,000 Twitter followers over the last five years has mysteriously gone silent, according to the research group tracking her. While the experts say Mary Lee (pictured) is likely still alive, the batteries in her transmitter may have died

A great white shark who’s garnered nearly 130,000 Twitter followers over the last five years has mysteriously gone silent, according to the research group tracking her. While the experts say Mary Lee (pictured) is likely still alive, the batteries in her transmitter may have died

MARY LEE THE SHARK 

Ocearch founding chairman Chris Fischer and his crew caught and tagged the 16-foot shark off Massachusetts in 2012.

At the time she was first tagged, the experts estimated her to be about 40 to 50 years old.

According to Fischer, she could live another 20 years.

Since then, thousands of people have followed Mary Lee on a Twitter page managed by Ocearch.

Now, the research group Ocearch says the transmitter on the shark known as Mary Lee has not sent a signal since June 17, when she was swimming off the New Jersey coast.

The experts say the shark is likely still alive, but the batteries in the transmitter may have died. 

The research group Ocearch says the transmitter on the shark known as Mary Lee has not sent a signal since June 17, when she was swimming off the New Jersey coast.

The shark has a distinctive bite mark in her dorsal fin, which could help her chances of being recognized, according to Newser.

Fishermen on the East Coast, especially South Carolina, have been asked to keep an eye out.

Founding chairman Chris Fischer and his crew caught and tagged the 16-foot shark off Massachusetts in 2012.

Since then, thousands of people have followed Mary Lee on a Twitter page managed by Ocearch.

In a Florida Times-Union report, Fischer said the transmitter’s batteries simply may have died, partly because Mary Lee surfaced frequently, which triggered more signals.

At the time she was first tagged, the experts estimated her to be about 40 to 50 years old.

The shark has a distinctive bite mark on her dorsal fin, which could help her chances of being recognized

The shark has a distinctive bite mark on her dorsal fin, which could help her chances of being recognized

The shark has a distinctive bite mark on her dorsal fin, which could help her chances of being recognized

According to Fischer, she could live another 20 years.

‘I feel like she’s done so much, it’s hard to ask for anything else,’ Fischer told the Florida Times-Union.

‘For any individual shark, she’s undone more of the damage from ‘Jaws’ than any shark in history, and she’s the most famous shark in history.

‘She’s likely offshore of that Florida-Georgia line, where she likes to live.’

An Ocearch vessel will depart Jacksonville University next month to search for additional sharks to tag.

Founding chairman Chris Fischer and his crew caught and tagged the 16-foot shark off Massachusetts in 2012. Since then, thousands of people have followed Mary Lee on a Twitter page managed by Ocearch

Founding chairman Chris Fischer and his crew caught and tagged the 16-foot shark off Massachusetts in 2012. Since then, thousands of people have followed Mary Lee on a Twitter page managed by Ocearch

Founding chairman Chris Fischer and his crew caught and tagged the 16-foot shark off Massachusetts in 2012. Since then, thousands of people have followed Mary Lee on a Twitter page managed by Ocearch

ischer said the transmitter's batteries simply may have died, partly because Mary Lee surfaced frequently, which triggered more signals. At the time she was first tagged, the experts estimated her to be about 40 to 50 years old

ischer said the transmitter's batteries simply may have died, partly because Mary Lee surfaced frequently, which triggered more signals. At the time she was first tagged, the experts estimated her to be about 40 to 50 years old

ischer said the transmitter’s batteries simply may have died, partly because Mary Lee surfaced frequently, which triggered more signals. At the time she was first tagged, the experts estimated her to be about 40 to 50 years old

Over the last few years, researchers have made great strides in understanding the behaviour of great white sharks in the Atlantic Ocean, which have remained somewhat mysterious compared to their Pacific and Indian Ocean counterparts.

Recent efforts have shown that white sharks appear to venture offshore farther, with more frequency and at greater depths than previously known in the Atlantic.

Some of the 32 sharks tracked between 2009 and 2014 ended up as far east as the Azores, the Portuguese island chain located more than 2,300 miles (3,701 kilometres) from Cape Cod, where most of the animals were initially outfitted with satellite tags.

‘JAWS’ MUSIC SOUNDS THE DEATH KNELL FOR GREAT WHITE SHARKS 

Scary music played when sharks appear on screen – such as the Jaws theme – may actually be threatening their very future, according to new research.

The study, published in the journal Plos One, suggests sinister sounds used to accompany sharks on nature documentaries is making viewers unjustly terrified – and threatening the conservation of threatened shark species.

Despite the ongoing need for shark conservation and management, prevailing negative sentiments marginalise these animals and legitimise permissive exploitation, the researchers explain.

‘These negative attitudes arise from an instinctive, yet exaggerated fear, which is validated and reinforced by disproportionate and sensationalistic news coverage of shark ‘attacks’ and by highlighting shark-on-human violence in popular movies and documentaries,’ said Professor Andrew Nosal, a biologist at Saint Katherine College in California.

Scientists say stirring up such emotion are hindering efforts to save and protect the magnificent fish.

They also were found to make frequent deep dives – as far down as 3,700 feet (1,127 meters) – and spend more time at those dark depths than previous studies in the Atlantic suggest.

And, in August 2016, the Ocearch team revealed they’d discovered the first known great white shark nursery on the North Atlantic Coast, in the waters off Montauk.

The researchers say it’s possible they could one day come in contact with Mary Lee again – but, the chances are slim.





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