Ironbound-tagged great white shark reaches NJ coast on migration route


Round tripa 1,000 pound tagged great white sharkreached New Jersey on its northward migration route.

The male great white shark, or simply white shark, is the first of the OCEARCH-tagged white sharks visit the coast here this season. The shark “slashed” just off Hudson Canyon, an underwater canyon and fishing area about 90 miles east of the New Jersey shoreline, around 10:30 p.m. on April 28.

A ping occurs when the tag on the shark’s dorsal fin is above water long enough – around 90 seconds – for it to be picked up by satellite.

Ironbound, which was over 12 feet tall and weighed nearly 1,000 pounds when tagged on October 3, 2019, off Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, wintered off the southeast coast of the United States . It traveled at least as far south as Savannah, Georgia, according to OCEARCH Global Shark Tracking app, which marks the position of the shark in real time.

The shark, which is likely bigger now, started swimming north in late March along with several other OCEARCH-tagged sharks. Ironbound was off North Carolina on April 25, before heading to New Jersey.

Frequent visitor: ‘Ironbound’ is coming off the coast of New Jersey in 2020

Since being tagged, the shark has swum more than 13,000 miles in a pattern that has taken it to Canada and the southeastern United States.

OCEARCHa non-profit research group, has been tagging white sharks in the Atlantic Ocean for more than a decade to collect data on the life cycle of one of the ocean’s top predators.

Along with tagging sharks, OCEARCH collects biological samples, such as blood and tissue, from sharks before releasing them into the wild.

See a video of Ironbound tagged at the top of this story.

Ironbound most likely returns to Nova Scotia, a route it has taken every year since being tracked with the spot beacon.

Other OCEARCH-tagged sharks have migrated north before but have swum well offshore in underwater canyons, bypassing New Jersey’s coastal plain. Several more appear en route north.

Sharks aren’t the only species on the move as the spring migrations of whales, dolphins and tuna are in full swing.


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