Great white shark weighing 1,668lbs spotted off Florida Panhandle

Great white shark weighing 1,668lbs spotted off Florida Panhandle

Given their natural isolation and the clear danger they pose to humans studying them, there are still plenty of things we don't know about sharks. Because of this knowledge gap, there are researchers across the globe who work each day to learn a little more about their habits.

OCEARCH are an international great white shark research organisation, Founded in 2011, the non-profit is a world leader in "generating critical scientific data related to tracking and biological studies of large apex predators such as great white sharks and other keystone marine species".

As part of their work, they often capture these sharks, tagging their dorsal fins so they can see where they travel to and monitor their safety in the waters. Following this, one 1,688-pound female Great White shark (nicknamed Miss Costa) was spotted off the coast of Florida.

A transmitter on the sub-adult shark pinged south of Panama City, as the shark swam in the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida panhandle. This 'ping' refers to when the tagged dorsal fin breaks the surface of the water, allowing the signal to be transmitted to a satellite, the organisation explained to the Pensacola News Journal earlier this week.

It isn't exactly uncommon for Great Whites to be spotted swimming through the Gulf of Mexico, but the journey Miss Costa is taking is significant. As OCEARCH said in a statement on Tuesday, getting a ping from a large female that far north into the body of water is very rare.

Miss Costa was first found and tagged by researchers in September 2016, when she was found off the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts. At the time, she was measured to be 12 feet and six inches, but in the two years since, she could be much larger. The same researchers have estimated that she could be anywhere between 14 and 15 feet long today.

Here are some swimmers shocked by a Hammerhead Shark that had washed ashore:

Other examples of Great White sharks to visit this particular coast include a female named Savannah, weighing 460 pounds and reaching eight feet six inches long, in addition to a male named Hilton, weighing 1,326 pounds, the News Journal reported.

This isn't the only work being done to study Great White sharks in the wild. Another example of the research conducted by scientists with sharks comes from the joint research venture of the USA and Australia. One research team recently attached cameras to some sharks to discover further details about their hunting processes.

As the researchers explained:

"We tagged eight white sharks ranging from 275 to 365 cm total length with high-resolution camera/motion sensor AVEDs near a Cape fur seal colony on Geyser Rock, in the Dyer Island Marine Reserve, near Gansbaai, South Africa during May 2014.

"Sharks were attracted to a research vessel before being fitted with AVEDs (comprising HD video cameras and 12 channels of biologging data), using a minimally invasive stainless steel fin clamp."

You can read about more about this expedition here.