The 17-foot great white, Mary Lee, returns to New Jersey

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Mary Lee returns to New Jersey!
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Mary Lee, the great white shark that has been tagged by OSEARCH in order to track her movements, has returned to the Jersey Shore this spring.

Mary Lee great white shark OSEARCH
She’s a beauty! Great white sharks are a protected species. OSEARCH tracks their movements through satellite ‘tagging’ in order to research and better understand them.

Welcome back to New Jersey, Mary Lee

First tagged back in 2002 off of Cape Cod, Mary Lee has traveled nearly 40,000 miles along the Eastern coastline and is, currently, in her spring habitat off of the New Jersey shore.

The OCEARCH shark tracker showed four satellite pings Sunday from the massive female great white.  She was off of Island Beach State Park in New Jersey as close as a mile from shore. The “pings” are generated from a satellite tag attached to her dorsal fin that transmits data via satellite on her location each time she surfaces. Her most recent pings are the closest she’s been to shore this spring with her location being less than a mile from shore.

It is common for sharks to be off the New Jersey coast this time of year, when some of their favorite meals — bluefish and striped bass — are in the area. Striped bass migrate north off New Jersey in spring, and bluefish are usually around well into the summer months. June is a prime season for makos, thresher sharks and blue sharks. Great whites, which are protected, also are frequently seen this time of year.