Great white shark caught — and released — off Jersey Shore
LITTLE EGG HARBOR — Move over, Mary Lee. There's a new great white shark lurking off the Jersey Shore.
Chris O'Neill of Little Egg Harbor told the Asbury Park Press he hooked a six-foot great white as he and four friends fished to the east of the Great Egg Inlet. By law, a fisherman cannot keep a great white, and O'Neill said he cut the line immediately.
The group was fishing near an area called "the Cigar," which is known for being a great white "pupping ground" for great whites. The shark took 15 minutes to reel in, after taking bait 40 feet below the surface.
Sharks are common in the Atlantic Ocean off New Jersey because of a robust seal population, according to Bob Schoelkopf, founding director of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center. Shark attacks are less common, however, because there is plenty for them too feed on. It's when people get in the way do the sharks attack, according to Schoelkopf.
Speaking of sharks, what about Mary Lee, the great white tracked as far north as the Asbury Park coastline during several visits in 2016 and 2017?
She was tagged by a group called OCEACH that tracks sharks as part of their research, was last tracked off the Jersey Shore in June, 2017.
OCREACH founding chairman Chris Fischer told AdventureSportsNetwork.com that Mary Lee was tagged in 2012 and the battery in her tracker may have run out of power.
OCREACH tracked her for 39,975 miles. 129,000 follow her on Twitter.