JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - GPS tracking by the Ocean Research Group has discovered two great white sharks hanging out near Jacksonville Beach. A shark nicknamed "Mary Lee" was tracked to the Jax Beach surf zone about 12:46 a.m. Tuesday. She is 16 feet long and weighs nearly 3,500 pounds. She was first tagged in September in Cape Cod.
Shark Tracker: See the track of the sharks here
The other shark, named “Genie”, was tracked about 50 miles off the coast of Jacksonville. She weighs in at nearly 2,300 pounds and is 14 feet 8 inches long. She was also tagged in Cape Cod in September.
“They’re out there trying to find something to eat and to reproduce like every other species is,” said Jacksonville University Marine Science Research Institute Director Quinton White.
White isn’t surprised to see sharks here necessarily, because they tend to move in when the water cools down. He said confirming that the sharks are great whites, however, and not just big sharks is unique.
Because of the size and risk, authorities are recommending people stay out of the water until the sharks leave our area.
While White doesn’t think there is a significantly higher risk of shark bites because of the sharks’ presence, he said surfers, especially those who go far offshore, could face some heightened chance.
“Surfers tend to look like wounded fish, they’re out there paddling and splashing around,” White said.