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Great white shark nearly 13 feet long spotted off NC coast

OCEARCH helps researchers get hard data on sharks

OCEARCH is a research vessel and at-sea laboratory that generates critical data to expand behavioral and ecological research on the large predators in the North Atlantic Ocean.
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OCEARCH is a research vessel and at-sea laboratory that generates critical data to expand behavioral and ecological research on the large predators in the North Atlantic Ocean.

A great white shark nearly as long as a car was detected Wednesday morning just off the North Carolina coast.

The location of Miss Costa, a 1,688-pound female great white tagged in September 2016 off the coast of Nantucket, pinged just off the Shackleford Banks near Cape Lookout at about 9:34 a.m. on Wednesday, according to OCEARCH, a shark tracking research group.

Miss Costa passed Wrightsville Beach a few hours earlier, but was further out to sea. She came closer to the coast near Shackleford Banks. In 24 hours, Miss Costa traveled more than 66 miles.

A week earlier, Miss Costa was off the coast of Virginia.

Female great whites like Miss Costa typically reach 15 to 16 feet in length and can live 70 years or longer. Larger females can be nearly 20 feet long and weigh more than 4,300 pounds. Female sharks take about 33 years to be ready to produce offspring. Miss Costa is considered an immature shark.

Miss Costa was named for Costa Sunglasses, a partner of OCEARCH.

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.

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.

For more information, to track Miss Coasta and other sharks or to donate to OCEARCH efforts, go to www.ocearch.org.

Fishermen with Outcast Sport Fishing tagged and released their fifth great white shark of the season on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. Owner Chip Michalove said he works with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy to equip the sharks with the tags so the

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