It’s getting to be that time of year: migrating sharks are swimming off the Jersey Shore.

It was just two weeks ago that a 12-foot, 1,000-pound behemoth named Ironbound swam past New Jersey; and now a smaller great white has “pinged” off the coast at Ocean City.

The great whites “ping” if they’ve been tagged by OCEARCH, the organization that tags and tracks sharks. They tag the beasts with an electronic beacon that “pings” a satellite when the shark gets close enough to the surface.

This more recent shark isn’t as big as Ironbound; his name is Tancook, and he’s 9.75 feet long and weighs 715 pounds.

How did he get the name “Tancook”? Well, according to the OCEARCH website:

Tancook means "facing the open sea" to the local indigenous Mi'kmaq people of Nova Scotia. We met Tancook off West Ironbound Island, which is just south of Tancook Island, a place that was once a summer fishing ground for the indigenous people. Tancook marks the 81st shark of our Northwest Atlantic White Shark Study and our 8th of Expedition Nova Scotia 2021. We’re looking forward to Tancook teaching us more about the open sea as we follow along with his movements!


The researchers at OCEARCH believe that Tancook is heading back north to the waters off Nova Scotia after swimming as far south as Florida.

It’s pretty cool to play around with the tracker on the OCEARCH website: they don’t just track great whites, but if that’s what you’re interested in, you can filter out the other species and see where along the Eastern Seaboard the apex predators are swimming.

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