A great white shark measuring 14 feet, 6 inches and weighing 2,000 pounds was tagged and released Sunday off Jacksonville, Florida.
It's a first for the region, Chris Fisher, founder of Ocearch, told the Florida Times-Union.
The shark, which was named Lydia, was caught in 25 feet of water beyond a popular surfing spot called Mayport Poles, near the Mayport Naval Station.
Ocearch stated Sunday on its Facebok page: "After days of relentless determination, the OCEARCH team was able to successfully tag and release the first Great White Shark off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida. Meet Lydia, weighing in at approx. 2,000 lbs at 14 ft, 6 in!"The same researchers tagged a much larger great white, weighing nearly 3,500 pounds, last September off Cape Cod. That shark, named Mary Lee, appeared close to the Jacksonville coast last January and is presently much farther offshore, southwest of Bermuda.
It's hoped that the tracking study will enable scientists to learn more about the movements of white sharks off the East Coast.
Of Lydia's close proximity to shore Sunday, Greg Skomal of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries told the Times-Union: "These sharks have probably been doing this for eons."
Skomal added that despite the great white's fearsome reputation, "the sharks have been pretty much going undetected."
People can check on the movements of sharks tagged by Ocearch via its website, and receive updates via its Facebook page.
--Image showing the shark tagged Sunday is courtesy of Ocearch