Great white shark ‘Hilton’ being tracked in Atlantic Ocean

  • This male shark named Hilton is one of 33 great white sharks tagged so far along the East Coast by the nonprofit group, Ocearch. Photo/Ocearch

Associated Press
Sunday, January 21, 2018

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A shark named Mary Lee whose movements were followed by many Georgians has gone silent, but a male great white shark is now being tracked off the coast.

The male shark named Hilton is revealing its migrations and a steady stream of locations via satellite, The Savannah Morning News reported .

Both sharks are among the 33 great white sharks tagged so far along the East Coast by Ocearch, a nonprofit whose scientific expertise paired with social media have made the once reviled great whites relatable, the newspaper reported.

Ocearch catches the sharks, outfits them with satellite tags, names them and invites the public to track them in real time on its website .

Mary Lee was a hit with the public, and swam more than 39,000 miles and amassed a Twitter following of 129,000. Ocearch tagged the 16-foot Mary Lee on Cape Cod in September of 2012 and she became a prolific “pinger,” coming to the surface often and allowing the satellite to get a fix on her position.

But then her tag went silent in June.

“Mary Lee pinged so regularly and so well for so long that we definitely didn’t expect her tag to last beyond five years,” said Ocearch founder Chris Fischer, who said he owes a debt of gratitude to the shark.

Mary Lee not only provided Ocearch with data that led to the discovery of a white shark birthing area off Montauk, New York, but her celebrity gave new life to the research operation. Ocearch was struggling when the crew caught Mary Lee, and Fischer thought she might be the last shark they tagged.