Great white sharks are headed south as water temperatures cool, and at least one of them made a pit stop off the coast of North Carolina this week.
An immature great white shark named Bruin was detected off the North Carolina coast on Monday as great whites head south from their birthing grounds off of New England.
Bruin is small compared with other great whites that have pinged off North Carolina’s coast this year. He’s just 5 feet 5 inches long and 101 pounds.
This is Bruin’s first time pinging off the North Carolina coast since he was tagged by OCEARCH on Aug. 12 – one of the newest sharks tagged by the organization. Before his trip to the Outer Banks, Bruin spent most of his time off the coast of New England.
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Bruin was named for the students at the Brunswick School in Greenwitch, Conn. so they can have a shark to track, according to OCEARCH.
The sharks are tracked by “pings.” When a tagged shark’s dorsal fin breaks the surface, it transmits a signal to a satellite, which then sends geographical data.
Bruin surfaced about 20 miles off of Buxton on Hatteras Island Monday evening.
North Carolina has averaged about two to three shark attacks per year for the past 14 years and has not had a fatal attack since 2001. The United States has averaged about 41 attacks per year since 2001, according to the international shark attack file at the University of Florida.
For more information, to track Bruin and other sharks or to donate to OCEARCH efforts, go to www.ocearch.org.