The organization, which advocates for ocean and shark conservation, has been tracking Breton since September 2020, when he was tagged. The latest ping from Breton’s tracker on Saturday afternoon indicated he was just off the eastern coast of Avon Island, of North Carolina’s Pamlico Sound.
Breton, a male adult white who measures 13 feet 3 inches and weighs 1,437 pounds, is one of dozens of great white sharks tagged and tracked in an open source online database by OCEARCH.
The shark is making its way up the coast after spending winter in the warm coastal water off of Florida.
Shark follows newly uncovered migration patterns
Research published last year using data from sharks tracked by OCEARCH found that great white sharks in the Atlantic tend to spend summer and fall in the northern Atlantic waters near New England and Canada before migrating south to warmer water during the winter.
Breton, who has traveled more than 26,000 miles since 2020, was caught and tagged by the group near Nova Scotia, Canada in the fall, consistent with the newly uncovered migration patterns.
“White sharks demonstrate strong site fidelity, with individuals returning to the same location in multiple years,” OCEARCH said in a release announcing its research. “…suggesting these animals use complex navigational cues to migrate over thousands of miles every year.”
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Last March, Breton was in fact tracked in the same area, OCEARCH’s database shows.
Great white males can grow up to 13 feet long, Breton’s size, but females can stretch up to 17 feet long, according to Smithsonian Ocean.
Another male great white named Jekyll is also currently swimming near North Carolina. A juvenile, Jekyll weighs roughly 400 pounds and measures at 8 feet 4 inches. He was tagged by OCEARCH of the Georgia coast in December.