On Friday, researchers off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada caught an enormous great white shark measuring more than 17 feet and weighing over 3,500 pounds.
The huge shark is estimated to be around 50 years old and was captured by an Ocearch research team in the northwestern Atlantic. The monster of a fish was tagged previous to its release back into the ocean.
The expedition’s leader Chris Fischer said it is the biggest shark Ocearch had ever tagged. Its exact measurements equalled 17 feet 2 inches and weighed in at 3,541 pounds. The crew nicknamed the giant ‘Queen of the Ocean’.
Fisher said his team could tell that the huge animal had lived a full life that dated back years.
“She is a very old creature, a proper Queen of the Ocean and a matriarch,” Fisher explained. “She has all the scars, healed wounds and discolorations that tell a deep, rich story of her life going back years.”
“You feel different when you’re standing beside a shark of that size compared to the ones in the 2,000-pound range,” he continued. “You feel insignificant standing next to such an ancient animal.”
Ocearch Collecting Great White Shark Data For Further Research
The team uses a special rig to haul in large fish for their research. That’s what they utilized to catch the great white off the coast of Nova Scotia on Canada’s eastern coast.
Once the shark is in the pen of the research vessel, the platform is lifted up out of the water. At this point the team is able to collect data and samples, and attach tracking tags to the shark.
Once the team is finished, the platform is lowered back into the water and the shark is released back into the depths of the ocean.
While the great white is captured, the experts are able to collect various data from the animal for their research. They collect data through an ultrasound, bacteria samples off its teeth, and fecal matter samples that reveal dietary information, Additionally, the team takes blood, muscle, and skin samples also used for further research.
Tagging May Help Solve Mysteries of the Great Whites
Before they released the great white, the Queen of the Ocean received three tracking tags. They included one that records how deep she swims into the ocean. In addition, another that will track her movements for the next five years.
Next, the tags are added to a large database that will track the live locations of the tagged sharks. She was the Ocearch team’s sixth shark captured during the team’s current expedition that runs from September 8 to October 6.
Meanwhile, Ocearch is currently tracking around 60 sharks in the Northwest Atlantic. The team’s data has shown the sharks migrate down the East Coast, around Florida, and into the Gulf of Mexico.
“With the new data we’ve collected, this matriarch will share her wisdom with us for years to come,” said Ocearch. “She will continue to help balance fish stocks in the surrounding waters, and we look forward to learning more from this wise guardian of our ocean’s eco-system.”
Since 2012, Ocearch has studied great whites in the Northwest Atlantic. One of the team’s main objectives is to discover where they breed.
[H/T Daily Mail]