Great white shark 'close' to Ireland

Published Tuesday, 11 March 2014
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A great white shark being tracked since it was tagged just over a year ago in Florida has travelled more than 19,500 miles and is now closer to the Republic of Ireland than expected.

The shark, known as Lydia, has surprised experts with her journey across the Atlantic Ocean.

She is the first of her species to actually be documented crossing the mid-Atlantic ridge, which is considered to be the boundary between east and west.

Her travels have brought her within 800 miles of the Irish coast.

The waters do play host to many sharks, typically of the basking variety - but a great white has never officially been documented in Irish or British waters.

There have been a few alleged sightings though, some of which are considered credible.

Lydia was first tagged by global research group Ocearch in Jacksonville, Florida on the east coast of the United States on 2 March last year.

It is hoped that the information gathered about her movements and health will help with shark conservation efforts and with educating the public.

Great white sharks can grow up to 21ft in length and 7,000lbs in weight, but Lydia measures just under 15ft and weighs approximately 2,000lbs.

Despite their fearsome reputation, exacerbated by pop culture references like the film Jaws, great white sharks do not typically attack humans.

Twenty-nine people have been recorded around the world as having been killed in an unprovoked attacked by a great white shark between 1990 and 2011.

Although she had been heading for the Irish coast, on Tuesday morning Lydia was tracked as starting to head more north-west - however, her course may change yet again.

Meanwhile a global audience of thousands are continuing to keep an eye on her journey online.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
AverageBelfastLad in Belfast wrote (317 days ago):
For anyone freaking out (including the ones on Facebook) you do realise if there was a nutter in Paris on the rampage with a knife you would have more chance of being killed by him........ 800 miles offshore is not close -__-
The future in England wrote (319 days ago):
Larry your funny I like that,
Rab in Belfast wrote (320 days ago):
Did it get a job a dtormount with the rest of the sharks!
Larry in Belfast wrote (320 days ago):
800 miles away, close! That's like saying 'I almost won the lottery' a man down the road won it.
da4 in Belfast wrote (320 days ago):
Thats an amazing creature.
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