Just when you thought it was safe - great white Lydia on track for Irish shores

This is Lydia.

Her hobbies include long swims in salt water, eating sea mammals and striking terror into the heart of man.

She's 14ft long and weights 2000lbs. She a great white shark, and in a journey that's making history - she's heading for Cork.

Lydia is big news in marine biology at the moment as she may be about to become the first ever of her species to undertake a trans-Atlantic migration.

"No white sharks have crossed from west to east or east to west," Dr Gregory Skomal, senior fisheries biologist with Massachusetts Marine Fisheries, told BBC News

Yesterday, she became the first ever documented great white to cross the mid-Atlantic ridge - regarded as a rough boundary line between the east and west Atlantic - an event described by researchers as "truly a momentous occasion".

"Lydia has etched her place in the history of Atlantic white shark research and showed the power and value of SPOT tagging," said John Chisholm, Fisheries Biologist, Massachusetts Shark Research Program.

"She is single handedly raising awareness around the world.”

Lydia's journey is being tracked by marine research organisation OCEARCH, by means of a tag in her dorsal fin.

Every time she breaches the surface, the tag sends a 'ping' to a global satellite system, which marks her progress on a map.

You can see live updates of her position on the OCEARCH Shark Tracker - she's currently described as being "1,030 miles from the coast of County Cork".

Lydia has travelled around 19,000 miles since first being tagged off the coast of Florida a year ago.

Watch the clip below to see how scientists abord the M/V Ocearch research vessel - equipped with a custom-built 34,000kg (75,000lb) capacity hydraulic platform - caught and tagged Lydia off Jacksonville, FL.

We note the guy jumping in at about 1:45...

Here's hoping for safe travels for Lydia, wherever she may end up…

 

By Conor Hallahan

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