A 4.2m tagged great white shark named Lydia on Sunday became the first known white shark to swim across the Atlantic Ocean.
The 907kg female shark, which was tagged by Ocearch scientists last March off Jacksonville, Florida, crossed the mid-Atlantic ridge on Sunday morning, officially entering the eastern Atlantic.
Stated John Chisholm the Massachusetts Shark Research Program, on the Ocearch Facebook page: “Truly a momentous occasion, Lydia has etched her place in the history of Atlantic white shark research and showed the power and value of SPOT tagging. She is singlehandedly raising awareness around the world.”
Added Bob Hueter of Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium: “Lydia’s remarkable trans-ocean journey reminds us that no one locality, state, or nation owns these remarkable migrators of the sea. If we are to save the sharks, we have an obligation not only to protect them in our waters, but also to work with other countries towards global conservation of sharks.”
Lydia, one of several white sharks fitted with SPOT tags in an attempt by Ocearch researchers to learn more about their movements, had traveled about 3000km in various directions since she was tagged.
Late last week, as it became clear that Lydia was approaching Europe and the mid-Atlantic Ridge, scientist Heather Marshall stated: “Lydia continues to surprise and impress all of us following along, with her initial run and impressive navigation to Bermuda last spring, followed by a sustained amount of time in cold water in Canada, and now her continued movements east across the Atlantic, have highlighted the incredible migratory ability and physiology of these sharks.”
Though this marks the first time a great white is known to have crossed the Atlantic, either west to east or east to west, the apex predators are known to travel great distances.