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So long and thanks for all the fish ... Lydia the Great White heads home

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: March 11, 2014

  • A Great White shark similar to one believed to be heading for Cornwall

  • Lydia's latest tracking by OCEARCH

  • Scientists from OCEARCH ocean research tag a great white shark which they named Lydia. GPS tracking data suggest the sea monster may be on her way to the UK.

  • Scientists from OCEARCH ocean research tag a great white shark which they named Lydia. GPS tracking data suggest the sea monster may be on her way to the UK.

  • GPS tracking data from OCEARCH ocean research which shows the movements of a great white shark named Lydia. The latest point on the chart suggests the sea monster may be on her way to the UK.

  • GPS tracking data from OCEARCH ocean research which shows the movements of a great white shark named Lydia. The latest point on the chart suggests the sea monster may be on her way to the UK.

  • Scientists from OCEARCH ocean research tag a great white shark which they named Lydia. GPS tracking data suggest the sea monster may be on her way to the UK.

Comments (13)

Great white shark Lydia, who was being tracked as she became the first of her species to cross to the European side of the Atlantic ridge, has swum around and is heading to more familiar waters it seems.

She had been heading due east across the Atlantic and came within 700 miles of the Westcountry coastline - the nearest recorded for a shark of her species.

However, her GPS tracker that has been following her ever since it was fitted by a research team in Florida, now shows she has made a sharp turn and put on speed to head north westerly - away from the UK.

The 2,000lbs shark had been meandering around the depths ever since crossing the Mid-Atlantic ridge and at one stage was on course straight towards the Westcountry coastline.

Scientists revealed they also thought Lydia might be pregnant.

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Lydia was being tracked thanks to a special device attached to her dorsal fin.

Every 'ping' from her tracker shows her movements across the ocean.

Bookies Ladbrokes had offered odds that Lydia was 2-1 to visit Cornwall as her first port of call.

Although great whites are known to travel huge distances and others are believed to have crossed the Atlantic before now, Lydia is the first to be actually recorded as having made the fantastic journey.

US scientists from OCEARCH, who attached the tracking device a year ago, have been following Lydia's progress for 19,500 miles as part of a groundbreaking ocean life study.

Chris Fischer, expedition leader and founding chairman of the OCEARCH shark tagging project, said Lydia may be looking for somewhere to rear young.

He said: "If I had to guess, I would guess that Lydia is pregnant and that she has been out in the open ocean gestating her babies and that this spring she will lead us to where those baby white sharks are born - the nursery."

Great white sharks normally give birth to around two to 12 babies at a time after a gestation period of 11 months.

Blood samples didn't show Lydia was pregnant when researchers used a 34,000kg hydraulic platform to hoist her from the water to fit the tracking device.

But Mr Fischer, who has led numerous ocean expeditions, said there is uncertainty over how exactly the species reproduce.

Lydia had been heading north but made a sharp turn back towards east, putting it on a collision course with the UK coastline.

Her GPS tag only gives off a signal when she's near the water's surface meaning scientists sometimes have to wait days between new readings.

Mr Fischer said it was impossible to predict where she'll head next.

He said: "If you forced me to guess where that was, I'd say it was over in the Mediterranean, near Turkey - but that's longball I'm playing.

"She could turn around right now and head back to Florida."

The Ocearch project aims to tag sharks to learn more about their movements.

The team used a 34,000kg hydraulic platform to hoist Lydia from the water in order to fit the tracking device.

Though Lydia's journey is impressive, great whites are known for their marathon migrations.

In 2003 a great white nicknamed Nicole travelled from South Africa to Australia and back - a whopping 12,400 miles.

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13 comments

  • Tony248  |  March 16 2014, 10:02PM

    and another. Where will it all end? Hopefully with the sacking of the webmaster and replacement with someone competent. Find another site WMN this one is rubbish

    Rate   1
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  • Tony248  |  March 16 2014, 12:54AM

    Well, there you go. Another scammer.

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  • RuthRStrouse  |  March 15 2014, 8:14PM

    my ­­­­­­neighbor's aunt make­­­­­­s 68US dolla­­­­­­rs /hr on the laptop . She h­­­­­­as been without wo­­­­­­rk for 7 months but l­­­­­­ast m­­­­­­onth her payment was 13998U­­­­­­S doll­­­­­­­­­­­­ars j­­­­­­ust working on the laptop for a few hou­­­­­­rs. More­­­­­­ Info ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ ww­w.works­12.co­m

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  • Tony248  |  March 15 2014, 10:43AM

    Just don't get a loan off her. She is worse than Wonga- it could end up costing you an arm and a leg!

    Rate   1
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  • zinboya  |  March 11 2014, 10:53AM

    WHAT another Asylum seeker, there again N,Clegg will be on the beach to give it a nice welcome ( ha,ha).

    Rate   2
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  • Tony248  |  March 11 2014, 8:26AM

    Scammer Alert!! You would have to have a brain even smaller than a shark's to fall for this one.

    Rate   1
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  • howson  |  March 11 2014, 12:12AM

    Hope tshe arrives in Torbay waters very soon, then we can send Torbay councillors for a swin but I expect she would spit them out.

    Rate   2
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  • Tony248  |  March 10 2014, 9:27PM

    She'll probably turn around and head for home as soon as she sees the car park charges.

    Rate   4
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  • Taphouse Wedding Photography  |  March 10 2014, 10:35AM

    What awful news reporting and fear mongering! The exciting new here is surely that If she swims over the Mid-Atlantic Ridge she will be the first recorded great white to cross the Atlantic.... it doesn't need to be wrapped in fear and mistruths about the species.

    Rate   9
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  • Lydia_Shark  |  March 09 2014, 9:23AM

    "A deadly great white shark"! Why is this magnificent shark called deadly, what a pathetic opening gambit to describe this wonderful animal. "...is feared to be heading straight for Britain..." Who exactly is fearing it? What a manipulative statement. It's utterly baseless statements such as this that cause people to fear something that deserves no fear, unlike the shark who definitely should fear man; it wouldn't surprise me if there were ignorant, macho, fools lining up to try to catch and kill this wonderful and persecuted animal. Well done Western Morning News, you have doubtless succeeded in perpetuating unfounded fears of a wonderful and important animal and have thus contributed to the continuing destruction and impoverishment of our once bountiful seas. Bravo.

    Rate   21
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