Massive 11-foot, 1,200-pound great white shark detected off Florida coast as spring breakers flock to beaches
An 11-foot great white shark pinged off Florida’s Gulf Coast just ahead of an expected influx of spring break tourists.
According to OCEARCH’s Global Shark Tracker, the great white shark, named Maple, pinged on Monday morning southeast of St. George Island, Florida in the Gulf of Mexico.
Maple measures 11-feet, 7 inches long and weighs in at 1,264 pounds.
“Over the past two seasons, Maple has spent much of her winter in the Gulf of Mexico,” OCEARCH wrote on its Facebook page.
The organization said Maple has a distinctive wound on the left side of her body, which the team believes is from an interaction with another larger white shark.
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“It is not uncommon for sharks to show their dominance over a smaller animal of their species by delivering a significant but non-fatal bite,” OCEARCH wrote on its website.
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The organization’s research vessel, MV OCEARCH, has been tracking the female shark since she was tagged off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada in 2021. Maple was named after the maple leaf, one of Canada’s national emblems, OCEARCH shared.
OCEARCH is a global non-profit organization that conducts “research on our ocean’s giants in order to help scientists collect previously unattainable data in the ocean.”
“Our mission is to accelerate the ocean’s return to balance and abundance through fearless innovations in critical scientific research, education, outreach, and police using unique collaborations of individuals and organizations in the U.S. and abroad.” the organization wrote on its website.
Anyone wanting to track Maple’s whereabouts can stay up to date by watching the Global Shark Tracker here.
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In February, a great white shark that may have been 13 feet in length was caught at a Florida beach by a professional shark fisherman and his clientele.
John McLean, a charter boat captain who owns and operates Big John Shark Fishing Adventures, which is Pensacola’s only land-based shark fishing charter, led a 24-hour charter in February that resulted in a great white shark catch and release.
McLean told Fox News Digital that he and his clients reeled in the great white on Sunday, Feb. 12, at around 2 p.m. EST.
“This shark was caught 800 yards off the beach,” McLean told Fox News Digital.
McLean used a specialized shark fishing rod, shark rig and braided fishing line to catch the great white shark.
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“My fishing gear was pushed to the limits, but it was up to the task to effectively reel in this massive white shark,” McLean explained. “Since I used proper equipment, we were able to make a quick release. Shark fishing and conservation starts with using the right gear.”
Fox News’ Cortney Moore contributed to this report.