Meet Albertina, a female, immature Great White Shark in Mossel Bay
Ocearch’s tracking technology allows researchers to monitor sharks movements throughout the world’s oceans, providing valuable insight into their behavior and their range.
Each shark is tagged with a tracking device that is inserted through their dorsal fin, and whenever they break the surface of the water, a signal is transmitted to a satellite. The satellite then sends back an estimated location of the shark.
Each of these ‘pings’ give researchers an accurate, real time location of a particular shark, allowing them to collect data about each individual.
During the tagging process, tests are done on the shark which determines their species, age, sex, weight, length and stage of life. From the data collected a profile is then setup for the shark on Ocearch’s official tracking website.
Researchers are then able glean the extent of the shark’s territory, the distance they have covered since their tagging and monitor their behavior.
This also allows members of the public to observe each shark’s movements and possibly dive in the area it occupies, all the while knowing a bit of the animal’s history.
Expectedly, each shark displays their own particular habits, which coastlines they prefer and the depth at which the like to swim. It’s interesting to follow a particular individual and see what they get up to, how much distance they cover in comparison to other sharks and whether they prefer shallow or deep waters.
Photo credit: www.ocearch.org.
Species: Great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias)
Weight: 270 kg
Length: 3.5 metres
Stage of Life: Immature
Total distance covered: 1830.593 miles
Tag Location: Mossel Bay
Albertina is a home body. A native of Mossell Bay, she is content to traverse the coast close to her hometown, rarely venturing further than a few miles off the coast since her tagging by Ocearch in 2012.
Much of her spare time is spent upon the surface of the water, which is evidenced by her numerous “pings” on Ocearch’s tracking website, preferring to bask in the warmth of the sun than dive deep into the cold like a lot of her more adventurous companions.
Though she misses out on a lot of experiences, Albertina is far more focused on family and believes it to be the most important part of a shark’s life. She is yet to have pups but cannot wait for the mating season to begin a family of her own.
Male and Female great whites exhibit drastically different habits and with a gestation period of almost 18 months, Albertina may have to wait a little longer to realise her dream.
Perhaps she would be better served frequenting the cooler waters further up the coast in False Bay, where much of the males are kept busy by the numerous shark cage diving tours in the area.
Not being a fan of the cages, Albertina has stayed well away from Shark Cage diving in Cape Town for most of her life but she may change her mind considering the amount of male sharks who enjoy the thrill of contact with humans.
Cultivating a sense of adventure would go a long way to help her finding a mate and at the very least, a shark cage diving experience could be an excellent conversation starter with eligible bachelors.
Credit: All data found on www.ocearch.org.