TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A great white shark, affectionately named Scot, pinged off the Gulf Coast of Florida on Wednesday.
Scot is a 12.3-feet long adult male that weighs in at 1,644 pounds. He last pinged off the coast, after traveling around the state from Nova Scotia, around 8:46 a.m. Wednesday.
The shark was tagged off West Ironbound Island on Sept. 8, 2021.
“He was named Scot after the people of Nova Scotia, who have always been so welcoming and committed to the science and health of our oceans,” the OCEARCH website says.
In February, a “snowbird” great white shark named Sable was located off the coast of Florida, making her way through the Middle Keys.
Dr. Robert Hueter with OCEARCH told WFLA.com that pinging works when the device attached to sharks like Scot or Sable send a radio transmission to a satellite system. That happens when a shark comes to the surface, which Dr. Hueter said white sharks do pretty regularly, despite not having to breathe air.
Data from the ping is transferred from the satellite back to the OCEARCH laboratory, where it is shown on their website in real time for the public to see as well.
Though Scot is spending his spring break off the coast of Florida, there is no reason for travelers and locals to worry, Dr. Hueter said. He notes that Florida’s great white shark visitors are not a threat. They do not come close to the beaches, as there are no seals to hunt.
“People do not have to worry. People should rejoice that the white sharks are beginning to return,” he said. “Their numbers are beginning to come back up after many years of declines and our worries about the disruption to the marine ecosystem. They’re coming back.”
Dr. Hueter has tips for those enjoying the water this summer to keep both humans and sharks safe.
- Exit the water if you see schools of tarpon.
- Do not swim at night when sharks can’t distinguish you from food. Sharks are often more common at night, as well.
- Do no swim in the middle of where someone is fishing.
- Do not wear shiny jewelry in the water. Anything shiny reflects the sun and can simulate scales of a fish.
- Brightly colored bathing suits are also a “no.” Sharks can see them at a distance.
You can track Scot, other species of sharks tagged by OCEARCH, sea turtles and more wildlife by visiting their tracker online.