Great white shark pinged off Florida’s east coast

An 800-pound great white shark was swimming about 20 miles from Florida’s east coast earlier this week and is now cruising parallel to the Florida Keys.

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The female shark, dubbed Sable, has been swimming south in the Gulf Stream -- the Atlantic Ocean’s answer to Interstate 95 -- since it was first tagged on Sept. 23, 2021, off the coast of Nova Scotia, according to the OCEARCH tracker.

The 11 1/2-foot, 807-pounder was pinged Thursday 20 miles east of Vero Beach, reported. On Saturday, the great white was pinged swimming near the Florida Straits at about 11:05 p.m. EST, the OCEARCH tracker showed.

A “ping” is when the shark’s dorsal fin, which has been tagged by researchers, broke the surface of the water, according to

Researchers tagged Sable off the cooler waters of Nova Scotia, as the juvenile shark was temporarily hauled onto a boat by a hydraulic lift on an OCEARCH research vessel.

The research team took length and weight measurements, blood samples and checked other vital signs during a 15-minute span, reported. The team then placed a smart position or temperature tag on Sable’s dorsal fin and lowered the shark back into the water, the website reported.

“Sable is the 76th shark sampled, tagged and released in the nonprofit research organization’s Northwest Atlantic White Shark Study and the third of Expedition Nova Scotia 2021,” OCEARCH’s website states. “She was named after the Sable Island National Park Reserve, located approximately 180 miles offshore of Halifax, Nova Scotia.”

Bob Hueter, OCEARCH’s chief scientist, was present when Sable was tagged.

“At her size, she’s probably starting to approach sexual maturity, and if not, she will be in a few years or so. She spent a couple of months cruising around Canadian waters feeding on high energy food like seals before she started coming south in the early part of the winter,” Hueter told “If you follow her track you can see she pretty much made a steady progression down the coast, maybe lingered around Cape Hatteras a little bit.

“The region from Cape Hatteras to the Keys is part of their southern feeding range, but they tend to stay well offshore,” Hueter added. “The tagging research has taught us they are a common wintertime visitor to Florida waters.”