Beach-goers could possibly get a glimpse of two famous great white sharks said to be cruising through the waters off the Jersey Shore and along the coast of Delaware this Memorial Day weekend.
The two sharks are named Mary Lee and Cisco, and they’ve been tracked for years by non-profit shark-tracking group OCEARCH.
Weighing in at a hefty 3,456 pounds and roughly the size of a mini-van, Mary Lee is a mature 16-foot-long great white shark. A frequent visitor to the Jersey Shore, she was seen near Cape May, New Jersey and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware on Saturday and continued to swim in the area on Sunday. She appeared on OCEARCH’s radar at 7 a.m. Sunday morning approximately 15 miles east-southeast of Cape May and was reported to be heading north.
Researchers have been keeping an eye on the massive shark’s movements after tagging her in the waters off Cape Cod on September 17, 2012.
The much smaller Cisco weighs roughly 362 pounds and is 8-feet, 7-inches long. The young male shark appeared on radar at 4 a.m. on Friday near Delaware Bay. As of Saturday, he was located in an area between Rehoboth Beach and Cape May.
Cisco has spent the past month traveling up from the Outer Banks in North Carolina to the Delaware Bay. “He was originally tagged off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts in October and named for a nearby beach and brewery,” according to OCEARCH.
Expedition leader Chris Fischer said that Cisco plays a key role in helping provide researchers with valuable data about the white shark population, which will lead to protecting ocean fish.
“Cisco is a really interesting shark,” said Fischer, noting that water temperatures between 60 to 65 degrees and fish populations can attract sharks to the east coast area this time of year. “He’s likely just coming in (the Delaware Bay) to forage.”
“The life of the male white shark was a complete mystery and we really started cracking the code on that just last year,” Fischer noted, adding that people should not be afraid of the ferocious-looking marine creatures because they are incredibly important to the ocean’s ecosystem.
“People should be terrified of an ocean that’s not full of sharks, they keep everything in balance,” Fischer said. “So, if we want to make sure that our great grandchildren can eat fish sandwiches, we need lots of big sharks.”
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