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Researchers are tracking a great white shark in Long Island Sound

CNN's Alina Machado explains how Ocearch is using the Global Shark Tracker to collect data from around the world.

Posted: May 21, 2019 5:10 PM
Updated: May 21, 2019 5:10 PM

A 10-foot great white shark has been spotted deep in the Long Island Sound, one of the first of the ocean predators researchers have ever tracked in the area.

Ocearch, a nonprofit group that tags and tracks sharks, sea turtles and other marine animals, detected the shark off the coast of Greenwich, Connecticut, Monday.

"As far as we know, it is unusual for white sharks to visit the area," the organization tweeted.

In 2016, Ocearch tracked a 4-foot juvenile great white shark in the Sound, though it didn't venture as far into the tidal estuary.

The current visitor is a "sub-adult" male shark -- the developmental phase between juvenile and adult -- and he was first tagged off the Nova Scotia coast in October 2018. The shark initially traveled south, reaching the Gulf of Mexico in January, before returning north along the East Coast of the US.

SeaWorld, a partner of Ocearch, named the shark Cabot, after Italian explorer John Cabot. When first tagged, he measured 9 feet 8 inches, and weighed 533 pounds.

He still has some growing to do: according to Smithsonian Ocean, male great white sharks typically measure between 11 and 13 feet long, while females can exceed 15 feet.

Cabot has accrued more than 7,000 followers on Twitter, while his trip to Long Island saw Ocearch's online tracker "overloaded" with visitors, the nonprofit organization tweeted.

He was last detected Tuesday in the New York Bight, south of Long Island.

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