1,000 Pound Great White Named ‘Ironbound’ is Swimming Along the Maine Coast
Well, he made it to Maine. His name is Ironbound and he's an enormous great white shark weighing nearly 1,000 pounds and over 12 feet long. OCEARCH tracks him, as they do many great whites, and whenever Ironbound's fin surfaces above the water, his location pings.
He's heading toward the cooler Canadian waters of Nova Scotia according to OCEARCH, and to get there, his path has taken him along the eastern seaboard, pinging in North Carolina, New Jersey three days later, and now the Gulf of Maine.
According to NBC New York, this spectacular creature is named after West Ironbound Island near Lunenburg in Nova Scotia, Canada. That's where he was tagged two-and-a-half years ago by the marine research group OCEARCH.
According to the OCEARCH shark tracker, the 12-foot, 4-inch predator pinged in the early morning hours of May 26 in the Gulf of Maine.
Some scientists believe the sharks have widened their range from the more popular spot of Cape Cod, ripe with sea life for feeding, into the Gulf of Maine as competition for food in Cape Cod intensifies. Also, according to OCEARCH, this is the route back to Nova Scotia.
Chief Scientist Bob Hueter with OCEARCH says this northern migration is typical for this time of year.
They’re moving north to the very rich feeding grounds off of Canada and the northeastern US. Mating season is over, we think, and Ironbound is on his way north to get into some good feeding ground and bulk up again for the next year. Just like on land, that is an important role in terms of keeping the lower parts of the food web healthy and balanced. Ironbound will likely spend most of his summer and early fall in those northern waters around Nova Scotia before turning around and returning to Florida.
Here's the video from when they first tagged Ironbound in October 2019.
OCEARCH says even though shark populations have fallen sharply over the last four decades, our great white shark populations are improving along the east coast of the United States.
By the way, the biggest great white ever recorded is named Deep Blue, weighing in at 5,000 pounds and over 20 feet long. She's 50 years old and was last seen in Hawaii. Deep Blue has also been featured on the Discovery Channel's Shark Week.
If you want to learn more about OCEARCH and even track their tagged great whites like Ironbound, click here. It's really cool.