New Jersey

Mary Lee, Great White Shark, Surfaces Near Atlantic City

Mary is 1 of 2 white sharks recently moving off the coast of New Jersey

Mary Lee, a great white shark, is on the move along the Jersey Shore.

The 16-foot, 3,456-pound shark surfaced off the coast of Atlantic City at 5:54 a.m. Wednesday, according to nonprofit shark-tracking group OCEARCH. 

Over the Memorial Day weekend Mary Lee -- no stranger to the Atlantic Ocean off New Jersey's coast -- surfaced in the water near Cape May, New Jersey, and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Saturday and remained in the area Sunday, OCEARCH said.

The mature predator's track seemed to be headed north. Mary Lee surfaced four other times Wednesday morning -- the last time at 10:57 a.m. off Brigantine.

Researchers have been monitoring the shark’s movements after tagging her off Cape Cod on September 17, 2012. Since then she’s made several trips to New Jersey.

Mary Lee isn't the only shark in our region. Cisco -- weighing around 362 pounds and measuring 8-feet, 7-inches -- appeared Friday morning at the mouth of the Delaware Bay, slightly closer to Lewes, Delaware, than Cape May. Cisco hasn't surfaced long enough since to get a reading on his latest location.

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OCEARCH expedition leader Chris Fischer says the group's mission is to gain data about the 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 Cisco by clicking here or by downloading the Global Shark Tracker app for your iPhone or Android. You can also follow Mary Lee and Cisco on Twitter.

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