Meet Sofia, the great white shark making a name for herself as a hunter
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.
Photo credit: www.ocearch.org.
Species: Great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias)
Weight: 228 kg
Length: 2.6 metres
Stage of Life: Immature
Total distance covered: 1088.207 miles
Tag Location: Mossel Bay
Sofia is a great white shark from Mossel Bay that has built a bit of a reputation for herself since being tagged by Ocearch in March 2012.
Sofia is one of the best hunters along the coast of South Africa. Sharks from all across the region flock in their numbers to marvel at her skills in catching seals and terrifying schools of tuna with her impressive movement and breaching techniques.
A natural from a young age, Sofia has so impressed the older sharks along the coast that she was encouraged to found the first shark hunting academy on the continent a couple of years ago.
The school has been operating since late 2014 and has seen younger sharks greatly improve their hunting skills under Sofia’s tutelage, with Mossel Bay now recognized among the shark community as the bay with the most effective hunters along South Africa’s coast.
That being said, Gansbaai is not far behind in that race and Sofia will soon host a hunting clinic in the area to train the inexperienced great whites, building on her career as a world class trainer.
Credit: All data found on www.ocearch.org.