According to tracking data, a 12-foot-long 998-pound male great white shark is heading into the Gulf of Mexico … when other members of its species are moving in the other direction.
Dubbed “Ironbound”, the shark was tagged last fall off West Ironbound Island, Nova Scotia, Canada. Since then, the 998-pound male has traveled more than 2,700 miles and was last “pinged” yesterday morning just south of the Florida Keys.
The tracking data says Ironbound traveled down to the tip of Florida before moving north again. However, Ironbound has made a U-turn and is headed back towards the Gulf.
It is currently not clear why.
What is clear, however, is that Ironbound was a … challenging shark to catch and research.
Expedition Leader Chris Fischer says: “Our Fishing Master Captain Brett McBride said that [this] was one of the toughest sharks he has seen, especially considering [its] size. At 12 feet, 4 inches and right about 1,000 pounds, [it] fought like some of the much bigger sharks we’ve encountered in places like Guadalupe Island, Mexico and South Africa that were 15 feet long or more.”
OCEARCH says great whites off the coast of North America often migrate thousands of miles in the winter months to the warmer waters around Georgia, the Carolinas, and Florida.
OCEARCH wrote in a Twitter post: “This is interesting, while most of the sharks on the Tracker are slowly moving north or at least staying put, white shark Ironbound is going against the flow. A new ping today suggests he might be considering a trip into the Gulf of Mexico.”
Check out the tweet below.