Giant great white shark found just off Florida’s Indian River Lagoon

Great White Shark – Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by Martin Prochazkacz

A monstrous great white shark, also known as Breton, has been found just off of Florida’s Indian River lagoon system.

On June 6, a tracker hosted by ocean research organization OCEARCH spotted Breton in Florida, not too far away from Port Saint Lucie at 11:40 p.m.

OCEARCH marks great white sharks in an effort to learn more about the endangered species’ behavior. The tagged sharks ‘ping’ on the tracker when their dorsal fins come into close contact with the surface of the water.

Breton is an enormous shark, weighing nearly 1,500 pounds and measuring more than 13 feet.

The Mosquito Lagoon, the Banana River, and the Indian River make up the Indian River Lagoon, which is located on Florida’s Atlantic coast. Although the location is most renowned for its bull sharks, great white sharks have been reported to swim through the system.

Great white sharks typically enter the waterway when there is a large amount of prey in the area.

Breton is now part of the North Atlantic great white shark population that resides along the east coast of Canada and the U.S. The sharks usually migrate along the large route, spending winters in the south and summers in the north. 

According to the shark tracker, Breton was prowling dangerously close to the North Carolina shore in May. White sharks are thought to mate and raise their young here, according to scientists.

Breton wasn’t the only great white shark in the vicinity at the time; Ironbound, a 1,000-pound great white shark, was also spotted nearby. Despite the fact that great white sharks are typically solitary, two of them have been seen swimming in the same direction recently.

In October of 2021, Breton was spotted as far north as the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada.  As the weather cooled down in the winter, Breton was then tracked on the east coast of the Sunshine State by December, a distance of about 1,500 miles.

The study team first tagged the male shark in September 2020. The sharks are lifted out of the water using a hydraulic platform, and a tracker is attached to their bodies.

The sharks are given a continuous flow of seawater over their gills while researchers tag them and collect tissue and blood samples.

Despite their reputation as fearsome predators, great white sharks are a mysterious species with much to learn about their habits. Scientists continue to focus their efforts on determining where sharks mate and give birth to their young.

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