2,076 pound, 15-foot-long great white shark lingering off Louisiana coast, research group says

PORT FOURCHON, La. (WXXV) — Marine research group OCEARCH is tracking a 2,076 pound, 15-foot-long great white shark named Unama’ki off the Louisiana coast.

OCEARCH uses GPS technology to track the movement of more than 400 tagged aquatic animals, including sharks, dolphins, whales, seals, and turtles.  Their goal is to help scientists collect previously unattainable data in the ocean.

Unama’ki’s location near Louisiana may be significant as large great white sharks do not typically travel that far north into the Gulf of Mexico, especially big females.

It has been known for a long time that great white sharks visit the Gulf, but the majority of their activity there remains a mystery since data sets on their movements in the region are lacking compared to other areas in the Northwest Atlantic.

According to OCEARCH, Unama’ki is what the indigenous Mi’kmaq people of Nova Scotia call Cape Breton and it means “land of the fog.”

As a big mature female, Unama’ki has the potential to lead us to the site where she gives birth and exposes a new white shark nursery.

Research expeditions are conducted aboard the M/V OCEARCH, which serves as an at-sea laboratory.

The vessel offers a 75,000 pound capacity hydraulic platform designed to safely lift mature marine animals out of the ocean for access by a multi-disciplined research team to gather up to 12+ samples in 15 minutes.

You can track where Unama’ki moves to next on OCEARCH’s website: https://www.ocearch.org/?details=355.

Categories: Mississippi State News, National News, News

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