Two great white sharks were tagged off the coast of Massachusetts in the past week by the nonprofit group OCEARCH.
A female measuring 10 feet, 8 inches long was tagged Sunday and given the name Andromache, according to OCEARCH officials, after the Greek character “who symbolizes strength courage and maternity.”
“Just letting you all know that I’m off the coast of Nantucket a little south from where I was tagged,” Andromache tweeted on Tuesday.
The OCEARCH team tagged Andromache during a research trip called Expedition Massachusetts, which launched earlier this month. According to OCEARCH’s website, the data and insight gained from the trip will support 20 individual shark-related research projects that are being conducted by investigators from a number of different universities and organizations, including the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the University of Florida, and Texas A&M University.
Exciting news! Our first white shark of #ExpeditionMA is already up and pinging on the Tracker. @AndromacheShark is only a few miles south of where we tagged her. Our new partner @ulysse_nardin named her after the greek character who symbolizes strength courage and maternity. pic.twitter.com/WJ742uw7PG— OCEARCH (@OCEARCH) August 11, 2020
The second great white that OCEARCH tagged, dubbed Monomoy after the island he was spotted near, measured 6 feet, 7 inches long — smaller than most sharks that have been observed in the area.
“At 6′ 7″ long, he’s the smallest shark we’ve tagged in this area,” OCEARCH tweeted. “His presence means it’s not just big sharks here as is often perceived.”
White shark #2 of #ExpeditionMA just swam off the lift. At 6’ 7” long, he’s the smallest we’ve tagged in this area. His presence means it’s not just big sharks here as is often perceived. Our partner @SeaWorld named him Monomoy after the island he was tagged near. #SharkWeek2020 pic.twitter.com/BQ5dTcZYQg— OCEARCH (@OCEARCH) August 12, 2020
Chris Fischer, the founder of OCEARCH and leader of the expedition, noted the small size of the second shark.
“It was stunning,” he said in a video posted on social media. “It was a male white shark less than 7 feet long. We have never seen a shark that small here in Massachusetts before.”
Fischer said that over the past week their the underwater cameras have been picking up images of other small sharks in the area, which “really shocked us, because when we first came up here a few years ago, it was all about big sharks.”
“There are small juvenile white sharks out here moving around these shoals, balancing out this system ... fish eaters.”
It was a very special day getting to tag our first small white shark in the Cape Cod area. Seeing a younger shark here adds a new dimension to our understanding of sharks the region and shows us that it's not just large sharks here like we're accustomed to seeing #SharkWeek2020 pic.twitter.com/13RyYsX53K— OCEARCH (@OCEARCH) August 12, 2020