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

One of the world’s biggest great white sharks, measuring over 12 foot, has been spotted prowling close to the United States coast.The shark, ‘Ironbound’, was located off New Jersey on 28 April - OCEARCH / YouTube

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

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 water surface.

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

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.

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