A transmitter on the sub-adult shark “pinged” south of Panama City, Fla., according to OCEARCH, an international great white shark research organization. A “ping” occurs when a tagged shark’s dorsal fin breaks the surface of the water, transmitting a signal to a satellite, the organization told the Pensacola News Journal.
While it isn’t unusual for great whites to swim through the Gulf of Mexico, Miss Costa’s cruise through the Florida Panhandle is significant because a ping from a large female that far north into the Gulf is rare, OCEARCH said in a news release Tuesday.
The organization said it hopes that tracking Miss Costa and other great white sharks will help to understand the movement patterns of sharks in the Gulf.
Miss Costa measured 12-feet 6-inches when she was first tagged by researchers on Sept. 23, 2016, in Nantucket, Mass., OCEARCH said. Researchers estimated the great white could be between 14-15 feet long today.
The most recent great white sharks to visit the Gulf Coast include a 1,326-pound male named Hilton and an 8-foot 6-inch, 460-pound female named Savannah, the News Journal reported.