Tags: great | white | shark

Lydia the Great White Becomes First Known Shark to Cross Atlantic Ocean

By Alexandra Ward   |   Wednesday, 12 Mar 2014 09:17 AM

Scientists have tracked a great white shark named Lydia across the Atlantic Ocean for the first time ever and now the 14-foot female appears to be heading north.

Lydia first made headlines in March 2013 when researchers tagged and released her off the coast of Florida. She was fitted with a satellite monitor on her dorsal fin, which transmits the 2,000-pound great white's location whenever she comes to the water's surface, according to National Geographic.

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Data collected over the weekend show that Lydia has bridge the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and is now heading for the English coast.

Lydia has now traveled further than any known great white shark — about 20,000 miles. A different female shark that swam from South Africa to western Australia and back, a total of 12,427 miles, was the previous record holder, according to NatGeo.

"I think it's really exciting that they're starting to get these kinds of tags out there so we can get this information," Heidi Dewar, a fisheries research biologist with the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service in La Jolla, Calif., told NatGeo. "The large females are a really important part of the population, and until you know what's going on, it's hard to develop conservation strategies to protect them."

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