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12-foot great white shark reaches Cape Hatteras, leading the pack as they swim south

OCEARCH tags great white shark Jefferson off Nova Scotia

Great white sharks spending time in far northern waters near Nova Scotia are beginning to migrate south, and one — Jefferson the shark — has already made it to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
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Great white sharks spending time in far northern waters near Nova Scotia are beginning to migrate south, and one — Jefferson the shark — has already made it to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

A great white shark more than 12 feet long is hanging out off of North Carolina’s coast after a long swim from far northern waters.

Great whites that have spent the last few months in the area around Nova Scotia now are migrating south, and one of them is ahead of the pack, according to shark research and tracking group OCEARCH.

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Jefferson the great white shark, tagged off of Nova Scotia by OCEARCH. Robert Snow 2018 OCEARCH

Jefferson, an adult great white is 12 feet, 7 inches long and was tagged off of Nova Scotia. He is named for Jefferson’s Bourbon, an OCEARCH partner.

It took Jefferson about 16 days to travel from Nova Scotia to the Carolina coast, according to OCEARCH’s tracker. Jefferson is one of the most recently tagged sharks from an expedition earlier this month.

In that time, Jefferson has traveled 736 miles, according to OCEARCH.

“Jefferson is wasting no time migrating south,” OCEARCH tweeted on Monday. “He has already reached Cape Hatteras, NC. His tracks are the farthest south of any white sharks on the tracker so far this season.”

The sharks are tracked by “pings.” When a tagged shark’s dorsal fin breaks the surface, it transmits a signal to a satellite, which then sends geographical data.

Jefferson, like other OCEARCH-tagged sharks, has his own Twitter account.

OCEARCH is a research vessel and at-sea laboratory that generates critical data to expand behavioral and ecological research on the large predators in the North Atlantic Ocean.

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