Meet Phillip, the great white shark fond of traveling.

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.

This process allows researchers to glean the extent of the shark’s territory, the distance they have covered since their tagging and monitor their behavior.

This information provided educates readers, not only about the current shark population and their behaviour, but also about OCEARCH’s conservation initiative.

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.

Phillip the great white shark tagged for shark tracking, research and conservation efforts in Gansbaai, South Africa.

Photo credit:

Profile: Phillip

Species: Great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias)

Gender: Male

Weight: 375 kg

Length: 3.2 metres

Stage of Life: Immature

Total distance covered: 13223.10 miles

Tag Location: Gansbaai

Phillip is fond of long swims along the South African coastline. The quintessential journeyman, Phillip flew the coop a long time ago and seems fonder of the cooler waters in the Atlantic and Southern Oceans.

Rare forays into the Indian Ocean are not uncommon for this seafarer, however, in which case Mozambique seems to be his favourite destination. Although the last time he visited the popular cove tavern off the coast of Maputo, he was involved in an altercation with Bruce, leaving him mentally and physically scarred.

Since then he has been rather reluctant to visit the warmer waters and hasn’t done so since late 2013, the date of the unfortunate incident. Preferring to stick to what he knows in recent years, he has chosen to avoid the more aggressive sharks that are prevalent on the West Coast of the continent.

He has vowed to one day overcome his fear of the Indian sharks and has been training with his pal Albert to improve his skills in combat. His newly sculpted physique has proved popular with those on great white shark tours, who seem to enjoy the new and improved Phillip.

If you’re a fan of shark cage diving in Cape Town and would like to see Phillip and his mates, book your shark cage diving experience today.


Credit: All data found on

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