Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Great white shark stalking US coast ‘is one of biggest in the world’

Mighty predator Ironbound last spotted off surfacing off New Jersey coast

Tom Ambrose
Tuesday 10 May 2022 15:18 BST
Scientists place tracker on one of the world’s biggest great white sharks
Leer en Español

One of the world’s biggest great white sharks, measuring over 12ft, has been spotted prowling close to the United States coast.

The gigantic creature, known as Ironbound, measures up at 12ft 4in and is reported to weigh roughly 452kg (71st).

The shark, named after West Ironbound Island near Lunenburg, was tagged in October 2019 in waters around Nova Scotia, Canada, and has travelled an estimated 13,000 miles since then.

Ironbound’s tracker was fitted by the marine research group Ocearch. It pings whenever the dorsal fin breaks the water surface.

In recent weeks, the great white shark has been located on the US coast and its tracker last pinged off the coast of New Jersey at about 10.30pm on 28 April.

Three days earlier, the shark pinged off the North Carolina coast in a sign that he is migrating north.

“They’re moving north to the very rich feeding grounds off of Canada and the northeastern US,” said Bob Hueter, chief scientist at Ocearch.

“Mating season is over, we think, and Ironbound is on his way north to get into some good feeding ground and bulk up again for the next year.”

He added: “Sharks have been around for about 400 million years. They in many cases occupy what’s called the apex predator position, in marine food webs.

“Just like on land, that is an important role in terms of keeping the lower parts of the food web healthy and balanced.”

Shark populations have fallen sharply over the last four decades, however great white shark populations have started to improve on the east coast of the United States.

The animals are marked as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and face population decline caused by overfishing.

Other great white sharks stalking the US coast include 17ft Queen of the Ocean, 20ft Haole Girl and 15ft Miss Costa.

The biggest of the species ever recorded is Deep Blue, weighing in at 2.5 tonnes (390st).

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in