A research group says an 883-pound white shark named Freya made her way from waters off North Carolina all the way to New England, where she was last pinged Monday in Block Island Sound and later near Martha’s Vineyard.
The group, OCEARCH, bills itself online as a “data-centric organization” that tracks sharks and other aquatic life in collaboration with “individuals and organizations in the US and abroad.”
The terms “white shark” and “great white shark” both represent the same species. Most scientists prefer to call the beasts just “white sharks.”
OCEARCH broke the news about Freya, described on its website as a “sub-adult” white shark, via Facebook on Monday afternoon.
“Like many white sharks, Freya is continuing her way North!” the posting said. “She is currently in Block Island sound, off of Montauk, N.Y. She is likely following schools of Menhaden as a food source.”
The posting said researchers have seen some of their tagged sharks in the area previously.
“We met Freya off of North Carolina in March,” the posting continued. “It will be exciting to see if she will spend her Summer and Fall in the New England area or more north in Nova Scotia.”
The group has an online tracker that lets readers keep up with Freya’s whereabouts, though not quite in real time.
A perusal of the tracker Wednesday morning showed Freya’s tag had been last pinged late Monday night, near the southwestern tip of Martha’s Vineyard.
Paige Finney, a spokesperson for OCEARCH, said via e-mail that off “the Rhode Island sound, where Freya pinged on Monday, is our last known location of her. She has [been] pinging pretty frequently as she travels north, so expecting she will likely ping again soon.”
Gregory Skomal, a senior biologist with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and a leading shark expert, said Wednesday that his team wasn’t tracking Freya.
He added that “you will only get positions from it if it comes to the surface, which might not happen very often.”
Freya’s not the first shark to visit the region recently.
Head of the Meadow Beach in Truro wastemporarily closed for swimming again over the weekend after a great white shark was seen at 11:15 a.m. Sunday, according to the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy’s Sharktivity app. The water was closed to swimming for an hour, according to the town’s website.
A previous shark sighting was reported at Head of the Meadow Beach on Saturday at 10:46 a.m., and the beach was closed to swimming until 11:30 a.m.
Great white sharks were also detected by a receiver on a buoy off the coast of Chatham, according to the Sharktivity app. One of them, dubbed James, was detected at 7:44 p.m. Saturday, for the 21st time at that buoy.
A dead seal with a shark bite was found on Race Point Beach in Provincetown Saturday, according to the app.