HALIFAX: A massive, 17.2 feet Great White Shark, weighing a whopping 3,541 lb has been found in the Atlantic off the coast of Nova Scotia by researchers of the OCEARCH expedition.
The Great White has been named “Nukumi” or Queen of the Ocean after the wise grandmother-like figure in the legends of the Mi’kmaq people.
Expedition leader Chris Fischer said in a Twitter video on Saturday that Nukumi is an ancient mature female “and with the new data collected, this matriarch will share her wisdom with us and guard our ocean eco-system for years to come”.
Ocearch is a Non-profit organization with a global reach for unprecedented research on the giants of our oceans. Tje Expedition Nova Scotia began on September 8 and was ending this week.
Ocearch said that “ With the help of our partners we’re enabling 35 scientists from 24 institutions during this year’s whiteshark Expedition.
“A grandmother — she is probably 50 years old, and certainly her first litters of pups she would have been having 30 years ago are also making babies,” he said in the Twitter video of the huge creature. It’s humbling to stand near such a large animal like her…”
“When you look at all of the healed-over scars and blotches and things that are on her skin you are really looking at the story of her life. And it makes you feel really insignificant. But, a powerful experience for all of us.”
In their Twitter Explorer’s Log Day 27, Ocearch recorded: “Two more great white sharks were studied today. With both females, one named “Rose” named after Rose Bay of Nova Scotia and one named “Edithe”, the OCEARCH team has now been able to tag, sample, and release 8 white sharks during Expedition Nova Scotia.
Rose is a 10’ 5” 600 lbjuvenile female. Other sharks, a 12’ 9” subadult female named “Acadia” and a 1,701 lb male ‘Mahone’ were also tagged.
Mahone was for Mahone Bay & French for a vessel commonly used in piracy, the bay has a rich history of hiding pirate ships.
While under their control in a submersible tank, the team took several samples from Nukumi, including conducting an ultrasound, bacteria samples off her teeth, and fecal samples to learn her diet. Blood, muscle, and skin samples were also taken for medical research.
She was then fitted her with three tags to record her movements, including how deep she swims, for the next five years.
OCEARCH is currently tracking nearly 60 white sharks tagged in the North Atlantic.
Oceana.ca says on its website: Great white sharks are an apex predator in the ocean best
known for their power, speed and strength. They are the largest predatory fish in the world and are also the only shark that regularly feeds on marine mammals, often hunting whales, seals, and sea lions.
Their only known predators are certain populations of orcas and humans. White sharks are thought to have evolved 16 million years ago and are descendants from the megalodon shark, the largest shark to have ever existed.
White sharks have a nearly global distribution and extended oceanic migrations that allow them to live in almost all coastal to offshore waters. They have even been observed at great depths of up to 1,200 meters!
They are adapted to temperate to tropical waters and are a frequent visitor to both Canada’s Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Oceana Canada was established as an independent charity in 2015 and is part of the largest international advocacy group dedicated solely to ocean conservation.