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Okher's 11 excellent white sharks headed south




FAKSONIL, Floa. (AP) – Oceahr's latest expedition to the rocky coast of Nova Scotia, a summer getaway for great white sharks, could hardly have gone any better: The crew caught, learned and tagged 11 white sharks, making it the most successful A trip ever to Seawall.

However, most of these sharks did not adhere to Canada. The water becomes too cold for them. So, like the snow on Interstate 95, they migrate south for the winter.

"Almost everyone, if they didn't get down here, at least started doing it," said Brian Franks, a shark expert at Aksexonville University, a partner with Ockerh.

Some of the Canadian white sharks are around Carolina.

Sydney, a 1,124-pound male, appeared near Daytona Beach on 6 November. Some have already passed through Keys and the Gulf of Mexico.


Several lieutenants are still losing cold water near the spot where they were tagged, but the Franks are sure to head south soon, as others have done.

Scientists at Ockharshs put GPS tags on sharks writing on satellite when the shark surfaces, fixing its location. In recent years, this evidence has helped to confirm the movement of white sharks: mostly north, to Massachusetts and Canada, during the summer, then south for the winter.

"It seems now clear that the southeastern United States is their winter habitat," Franks said.

Sharks from the southwest, then released in Canada, are already making news.

Unamaika has gained some notoriety for its gigantic size: It measures 15 feet 5 inches and weighs 2,076 pounds. Captured in northern Nova Scotia on September 20, she traveled around Key West and the Gulf of Mexico.

Wimmy, nearly 13 feet long, received a great deal of seal because of the two Dragons bite on his head, one is pretty fresh. Scientists have realized that he must have been attacked by an even bigger shark. Wimi recently did well in Wilmington, NJ, heading south.

Oceanarch is a shark advocacy group that in 2017 partnered with acksexonville university. As part of the deal, PI added its own shark expert – Franks, a docent who specializes in shark biology and ecology.

He was on an expedition to Nova Scotia for about a week. Christina Lobuglio, a graduate student at YU, who is the coordinator of the Okher program, was on the board from September 12 to October 8.


She was on the science team collecting evidence from captured sharks before being released. This includes collecting sperm samples from male white sharks (including a catheter and, one might imagine, some nervous nerves) and faecal samples (also wanting to eat seals).

Scientists have for the first time managed to get a heartbeat of great white with ultrasound – 10 beats per minute.

"Having succeeded in catching those 11 sharks, coming back next year, we can expand it further to find out more about these populations, why Canada is so important," LoBuglio said.

The improvement of the seal population in Massachusetts and Nova Scotia as a result of species conservation has led to more sharks seeking to feed. This has resulted in more sharks in the Northwest Atlantic in recent years, after what Franks calls a "rather serious decline" in the late 20th century.

And that's a good thing.

"They help create a stable ecosystem," Franks said. "What we found is that when top predators, like white sharks, are removed from the system, it tends to destabilize the system, things just tend to lash out and get out. They help maintain that balance. "

The Nova Scotia expedition was assisted by PI aviation professor Ross Stevenson, who took two aviation students and a marine science student on the expedition. UAVs that could spot seal colonies were flying, so Oceanarch fishing teams could pinpoint where to fish.

The Okehar research boat, a 125-foot steel boat that once used Alaska's fishing grounds, is now in Brunswick, Ga. Preparations are being made to make Mayport its home base, something Franks expects to see in about two years.

In the winter of 2013, the crew of Oceanarch captured and tagged Lydia, a stunning 14 1/2-foot white, in front of the Poles in Jana Park, one of the most popular surfing spots.

This was just weeks after another great white – Mary Lee, a 16-foot, 3,500-pound giant – was followed by its satellite tag in the Jacksonville Beach surf zone on a cold January day.

White sharks are popular figures of fear and fascination, from "The Jaws" to the various weeks of TV sharks. But the International Shark Attack File in Gainesville notes that no one in Florida has yet been attacked by great white.

However, Mary Lee made headlines with that close encounter at the beach, and Lydia received several alarming headlines when she took an unusual route across the East Atlantic, leading the British press to notice that swimmers there could become "easy lines" for The "hungry creature".

The batteries of the markings on those two sharks have died, so Ockerhar no longer follows them. But the group has spotted more than 20 new white sharks in the past year.

"With science, you learn more, and then you have to ask for more," Franks said.

To be sure, there is still much to be learned from lonely sharks, he said: "But they came there."

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Information from: (Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union, http://www.jacksonville.com


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