VIRGINIA BEACH — A nearly 12-foot-long great white shark was tracked swimming off the coast of the Eastern Shore on Thursday morning — and it looks like her path is taking her south.
Yeti, a 960-pound shark who’s still growing, was tracked by OCEARCH heading south along the Eastern Shore between 10 and 30 miles away from Hog Island between 6:18 a.m. on Wednesday and 10:27 a.m. on Thursday.
OCEARCH is an organization that specializes in tracking and studying marine animals, especially great white and tiger sharks. After a shark is discovered, it gets a name, a Twitter account, the #DontFearTheFin hashtag and becomes part of the OCEARCH family. The organization is able to track the sharks in real time and uses the data to learn more about their patterns and behaviors.
When a shark pings, it means that their fin has broken the surface of the water and sent a signal to a satellite.
Yeti was tagged by OCEARCH on Oct. 7, 2016 in Nantucket, Mass. Since that time, she’s swum more than 3,100 miles up and down the eastern United States, traveling as far south as Savannah, Ga. where she pinged last year on Dec. 11.
According to a tweet sent from Yeti’s account on Dec. 13, the immature female great white shark is just “passing through” Virginia, which would indicate a similar path as the one she took last year in the winter months
— YETI the Shark (@YETItheShark) December 13, 2017
In November of 2016, Yeti was tracked coming in much closer to Hogs Island than where she’s currently traveling, according to the OCEARCH map.
Yeti is just one of several sharks who have passed through eastern Virginia’s waters in the last six months.
In July, a 12-foot-long great white shark named Hilton was tracked about 20 miles off of the Oceanfront. On Nov. 8, Hudson — a small guy at just 5-feet-long and about 66 pounds — pinged off of the Virginia Beach shoreline.
This story was published in partnership with our sister paper, Southside Daily.