OCEARCH, the organization that tracks and studies the sharks, also names the animals, with monikers like Caroline, Caper and Cabot

By Benjamin VanHoose
July 13, 2020 12:51 PM
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Several great white sharks are being tracked in waters near the New York and New Jersey areas.

According to OCEARCH's online Shark Tracker database — which also names the large animals — a few sharks have pinged in their system at locations near the Hamptons and Jersey Shore. Caroline, a 12-foot-9 white shark, popped up on July 1 around Seaside Heights and Barnegat Light, New Jersey.

At least two other sharks lurked in waters off the Hamptons in early June, according to the New York Post, including a 533-lbs. shark named Cabot, and an 8-footer called Caper.

Another named Vimy, who weighs in at 1,164 lbs., was charting a path toward Long Island, but as of July 13 was tracking farther out away from the shore.

OCEARCH founder Chris Fischer told the Post that the handful of great whites registering near the beaches is "no more than normal." Fischer added that the presence of the predators in the ecosystem makes it so "everyone will see an ocean full of fish for generations, and our great-grandkids will be able to enjoy fish sandwiches and lobster rolls deep into the future."

Credit: Brad Leue/Barcroft Media/Getty

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“Be smart. Don’t swim out into the ocean if you see a bunch of seals, baitfish crashing and birds diving,” said Fischer of beach-swimming safety.

Back in February, OCEARCH, which is a nonprofit organization that gathers data on sharks and other animals around the world by tracking and studying them, shared a map on Facebook highlighting where groups of great whites have recently been spotted.

“What do you think could be causing this big gap in where white sharks are pinging right now?” OCEARCH asked its followers at the time. “There are pings in the Gulf of Mexico and then a big grouping in North Carolina/South Carolina but none in the middle.”

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“In our studies, we have tagged about 43 sharks and six of the largest ones are off of the Carolinas,” OCEARCH’s Robert Hueter told CBS News at the time. “… They’re not right up close to the beach, so no worries for the swimmers.”

The researchers have been tracking some of these specific sharks’ migration patterns for nearly 10 years — even assigning names to a few of the creatures, some of which size up at about 15 feet in length and 2,000 lbs.