Great white shark crosses Atlantic ocean in first-ever tracking

For the first time, scientists have been able to track a great white shark crossing the Atlantic ocean.

Lydia the great white shark

The 4.4-metre (14.4-foot) satellite-tagged shark, called Lydia, has been swimming from Florida and appears to be heading towards Britain and Ireland. She is currently located near the mid-Atlantic ridge – a tectonic plate boundary which runs vertically along the middle of the ocean – approximately 1,600 kilometres (1,000 miles) from the coast of the British Isles.

Ocearch shark tracker

Lydia was tagged by researchers in March 2013, who used a customised hydraulic platform to lift her safely out of the water on to their vessel, the M/V Ocearch. The Ocearch research project aims to collect data about sharks’ migration patterns, as well as their general health in a bid to boost conservation efforts as well as educate people about the creatures.

First great white to go west to east

If Lydia continues to move eastwards, biologists say she will be the first great white to have been documented travelling from the west into the east Atlantic.  No sharks have been known to cross the mid-Atlantic ridge in either direction.