The 3,456-pound great white shark Mary Lee is continuing to feed off the shores of the Lowcountry, but another great white, Genie, has joined Mary Lee’s coastal buffet.
About 9:30 a.m. Saturday, a $1,000 GPS device bolted to Mary Lee’s fin pinged about 12 miles off the coast of Edisto Beach. Then, shortly after noon, the slightly smaller and slimmer Genie pinged about 20 miles off the coast between Hilton Head and Tybee islands.
It was the first time Genie has been located since September, when she was tagged off Cape Cod. “The fact that Genie pinged in today is huge,” said Chris Fischer, founding chairman of OCEARCH, a shark-research group. “First, we know she is alive. Second, we know her tag still works.”
But Genie’s ping also raised questions, Fischer added. “Why has she pinged in so infrequently? Does she spend most of her time underwater, unlike Mary Lee, who is pinging in daily?”
The continental shelf from North Carolina to Florida is an important wintering ground for creatures up and down the food chain.
Genie was about 50 miles south of Mary Lee on Saturday.
At 2,292 pounds and 14 feet, 8 inches long, Genie is not as hefty as Mary Lee, but scientists with the OCEARCH team considered her an important catch when they tagged her.
And they were excited Saturday to learn how far Genie had traveled. The sharks can be tracked at www.ocearch.com.