Great white shark weighing 1,668 pounds spotted off Florida Panhandle, researchers say

A 1,688-pound female great white shark called Miss Costa was spotted this week swimming in the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida panhandle, according to researchers.

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.

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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.

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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.