Every so often, it pays to check in with OCEARCH, the group that tags sharks and tracks them up and down the East Coast. It helps remind us that there are beings swimming around in the ocean while we’re eating funnel cakes and playing the claw machine on the boardwalk. It turns out we had a recent “ping” indicating a shark had surfaced not too far from Toms River.

The shark that pinged is named Freya, and she is estimated to be about 11 feet long and weigh about 800 pounds. From the OCEARCH page on Freya:

Freya is a sub-adult female white shark and her name was chosen by our partner Sea World. The name translates to "Noble Woman". Freya was named in homage to the noble women researchers on both Expedition Carolinas and on all past research expeditions who are working to uncover crucial shark insights related to their species' conservation.

Her last ping was on July 3 at 11:20 p.m. off the Jersey coast. Her first ping was on March 24, 2021 in the waters off North Carolina. Since then she has traveled up and down the East Coast going as far north as Maine and as far south as Florida. OCEARCH says she has traveled 4,600 miles!

Another really big white shark pinged off the Jersey coast recently: an adult male named Scot, who weighs in at over 1,600 pounds and stretches 12.3 feet. He did not come as close to the shore as Freya did. He’s another traveler, though making his way from Nova Scotia, Canada, to the Gulf of Mexico.

Here is Scot:

OCEARCH is a non-profit that has tagged over 400 animals since 2007.

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