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Second Enormous Great White Shark Detected off Space Coast as Delta IV Heavy Launch Anticipates



The Space Coast witnessed another large visitor, marking the second massive sighting in just two days, coinciding with the much-anticipated final launch of the Delta IV Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral.


Scot, an impressive 1,600-pound great white shark, was recently detected by the nonprofit research group OCEARCH, far off the coast of Palm Bay in the early hours of Friday.


This massive shark made its presence known by pinging southeast of Palm Bay at 1:23 a.m. A ping occurs when the shark's dorsal fin, equipped with a satellite tag, breaks the water's surface, transmitting its location.


Scot's journey also took it to the Florida Keys on February 10th and 28th. Prior visits to Florida saw the shark exploring the Gulf of Mexico near Sarasota in March 2022, and lingering around the Florida Keys from April through June 2023.


Just the day before, on Thursday morning, another formidable guest, Mahone, a 13-foot 7-inch, 1,701-pound great white shark, was detected far off Cape Canaveral's coast. This sighting occurred mere hours before the scheduled launch of Delta IV Heavy, which was subsequently delayed due to adverse weather conditions and remained on hold the following morning.


The locations of these sharks promise to offer prime viewing spots for the eagerly awaited rocket launch. Depending on cloud cover, visibility is expected from various vantage points across Florida.


Here are some key details about Scot, OCEARCH, and the presence of sharks in Florida:


  • Scot, a 1,644-pound great white shark, was tagged by OCEARCH scientists off Nova Scotia near Ironbound Island on September 8, 2021, and is classified as an adult male measuring 12 feet 3 inches.

  • He is the 74th great white shark tagged by OCEARCH in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean.

  • Scot's name pays homage to the people of Nova Scotia, chosen by OCEARCH's SeaWorld partners for their dedication to ocean science.


About OCEARCH:


  • OCEARCH is a nonprofit organization dedicated to researching ocean giants, including great white sharks, and other key species vital for ocean health.

  • The group's 47th expedition, commencing on April 1 and ending on April 21, will depart from Jacksonville, Florida, and conclude in Charleston, South Carolina.


OCEARCH Shark Tracker:


  • OCEARCH provides an online tracker mapping the movements of tagged sharks.

  • Each shark carries a Smart Position and Temperature Transmitting Tag (SPOT), which emits a ping upon surfacing, transmitting location data to researchers.


Shark Presence and Safety Measures:


  • Shark sightings do not necessarily imply the absence of other sharks. Dolphins and sharks often coexist as they share similar food sources.

  • Florida is a hub for great white shark sightings during migration periods.

  • While shark attacks are rare, safety measures such as swimming in groups, avoiding dawn or dusk swims, and staying informed about local shark activity can reduce risks.


As the Space Coast prepares for the much-awaited Delta IV Heavy launch, the presence of these majestic creatures serves as a reminder of the diverse marine life sharing our coastal waters.

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