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Great white shark heads closer to Cornish waters

By DaveCDM  |  Posted: March 10, 2014

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A great white shark named Lydia has moved another 250 miles closer to Cornish waters as she continues her unprecedented journey across the Atlantic.

Lydia became the first ever great white to be recorded crossing the Mid-Atlantic Ridge - as she moved to within 800 miles of Britain.

The massive one-tonne man-eater is being tracked by scientists in the US who have attached GPS devices to its back to record its movements.

They have been following the 15ft beast, who weights 2,000lbs, for over a year as part of a ground-breaking ocean life study.

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Lydia appears to be making her way across the Atlantic towards the UK coastline.

Lydia has swum 248 miles in the last 72 hours and is currently less than 800 miles away from Britain.

She has now become the first great white to be recorded crossing the Mid Atlantic Ridge - an underwater mountain range which separates the Eurasian and North American Plates.

Lydia has so far covered more than 19,400 miles - but scientists say they are shocked by her recent dash towards Europe.

The project is being lead by Dr Gregory Skomal, 52, senior fisheries biologist with Massachusetts Marine Fisheries.

He said: "I have no idea what to expect from her next. I've been working with sharks for a very long time now and I have never seen anything like this.

"It's anyone's guess where she is going to go next but she has been heading east so she might continue to do so.

"Lydia is now the first recorded shark to cross the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

"In the last day we've had quite a few recordings after a little break. This is probably because she's starting to come a little higher up, where the water is warmer.

"Though it's hard to predict what she'll do it'll be very exciting if she comes to you guys.

"She's just short of 800 miles away from your coast now but in the grand scheme of things that really isn't far for her. It's all very exciting.

"It's hard to say how long it might take her to get there. If she decides she wants to get to England she could get there in days.

"Having said that, she is quite likely to meander. It could take her days, it could take her months, or it might not happen at all.

"I think it would be great to see her turn up in the UK though."

Her tag only gives her location when she nears the surface and Lydia left researchers anxious for days before providing an update, as she remained deep in the water.

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.

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  • jimbojimbo  |  March 11 2014, 10:36AM

    "I'm sure we all want to track anything anywhere, but take a read of this http://tinyurl.com/prsmw5h and may be we might not be so impressed with their bolting of trackers onto shark fins...? Really people, boycott Ocearch please, and leave the majestic creatures to do their own course