OCEAN CITY, N.J. (WHTM) – A great white shark named Penny was recently “pinged” near Ocean City as Memorial Day vacationers hit the beaches.
According to OCEARCH, a global non-profit that tracks sharks, the 523 lb shark was reported near the 16th Street beach on May 29 at 6:48 a.m.
Penny was originally tagged in North Carolina on April 23, 2023, and is the 92nd white shark tagged in the Western North Atlantic Ocean during OCEARCH’s “Expedition Northbound.”
Penny is described as a juvenile white shark meaning more than 10 feet long. Since she was tagged she’s traveled nearly 700 miles in 23 days.
According to National Geographic, great whites can grow to an average of 15 feet in length, though some have been more than 20 feet long and have grown to more than 5,000 pounds.
The World Wildlife Fund says the great white shark is the world’s largest known predatory fish with 300 teeth, setting them atop the ocean’s food chain. Their population has begun to decrease due to hunting and being caught by commercial fisheries.
Worldwide in 2022 there were 57 confirmed unprovoked cases of shark bites, 41 of which were in the United States and one being fatal, according to the University of Florida. The number of attacks is down from the recent five year average of 70, while the global number of fatalities (5) is in line with recent trends (6).