Lydia the great white shark on course for Britain
Scientists are tracking Lydia's movements as she swims above the mid-Atlantic ridge, the ocean's halfway point
Lydia the great white shark is set to become the first of her species to be seen crossing from one side of the Atlantic Ocean to the other – heading in the direction of the UK.
The 4.4m-long female, which has been fitted with a satellite tag, is now swimming above the mid-Atlantic ridge, a rough boundary line between east and west, and is around 1, 600km (1, 000 miles) from the coast of Cornwall.
Lydia was first tagged off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, in March 2013 as part of the Ocearch project. She has since travelled 30, 500km (19, 000 miles) and is currently around 4, 800km (3, 000 miles) from her starting point.
Dr Gregory Skomal, senior fisheries biologist with Massachusetts Marine Fisheries, told BBC News: "No white sharks have crossed from west to east or east to west.
"Although Lydia is closer to Europe than North America, she technically does not cross the Atlantic until she crosses the mid-Atlantic ridge, which she has yet to do."
Dr Skomal added: "She would be the first documented white shark to cross into the eastern Atlantic."
The Ocearch project aims to "generate previously unattainable data on the movement, biology and health of sharks to protect their future while enhancing public safety and education".
The scientists use a custom-built 34,000kg (75,000lb) capacity hydraulic platform to tag sharks. Operated from their research vessel the M/V Ocearch, it allows them to safely lift mature sharks from the water.
Ocearch is currently tracking around 70 sharks.
- 1 UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
- 5 SAG Awards: Fake applause track interrupts Reese Witherspoon
Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: WEST LONDON - An excellent new opportunity wit...
£8 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A Florist Shop Manager is required to m...
£15000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading supplie...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organisation is proud to b...