Mary Lee just can't stay away from the Jersey Shore. The 16-foot, 3,456-pound great white shark's shore tour included stops off Long Beach Island in the past 24 hours.
Nonprofit shark-tracking group OCEARCH got a series of pings from Mary Lee Friday into Saturday after five days without a reading from the popular shark. Mary Lee surfaced at 4:22 p.m. Friday off the unoccupied southern tip of Beach Haven. At 6:04 p.m. and 6:40 p.m., Mary Lee pinged slightly further away from the coast, according to OCEARCH.
Mary Lee made a move north overnight as the white shark surfaced at 6:54 a.m. Saturday about seven miles north, off the coast of Beach Haven near the Beardsley Avenue beach.
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"A 'ping' is determined when the tagged shark's dorsal fin breaks the surface of the water and transmits a signal to a satellite overhead," OCEARCH said while noting the exact geo-location is an estimate.
These are the latest appearances for Mary Lee since the shark appeared off Cape May, New Jersey and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware over the Memorial Day Weekend.
Researchers have been monitoring Mary Lee’s movements after tagging her off Cape Cod back on September 17, 2012. Since then she’s made several trips to New Jersey.
OCEARCH expedition leader Chris Fischer says the group's mission is to gain data about the great white shark population in hopes of protecting fish in the ocean. He says people shouldn’t fear a shark being in local waters. Instead, they should celebrate it because of what a shark means to the ocean ecosystem.
"People should be terrified of an ocean that's not full of sharks. They keep everything in balance," Fischer said. "So, if we want to make sure that our great-grandchildren can eat fish sandwiches, we need lots of big sharks."
You can track the movements of Mary Lee and and other sharks by clicking here or by downloading the Global Shark Tracker app for your iPhone or Android. You can also follow Mary Lee on Twitter.