A HUGE shark named ‘Ironbound’ has been tracked off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina as the 1, 189lb predator heads north.
The revelation has delighted Ironbound’s fans – with several keen to closely observe the 12ft-long predator while shark cage diving.
The shark was first tagged in October 2019 while migrating north in waters around Nova Scotia, Canada.
Since then, Ironbound has swum thousands of miles up and down the eastern coast of the US and Canada, according to marine research group OCEARCH.
He was named after West Ironbound Island near Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.
And he already has scores of fans who have been following his movements since his tracker recently “pinged” near the Bahamas in April, and off the coast of Fort Lauderdale and Miami in Florida.
One noted that Ironbound “has been up by New Brunswick, Canada, as well. Hope we get to see him when we go shark cage diving in Nova Scotia.”
John Pratt said on Facebook: “Ironbound is a fav for sure. I swear he’s smiling in his pic!”
But another reminded beachgoers: “Remember that it’s their playground out there.”
Ironbound is believed to be about 20 years old, according to Bob Hueter, chief scientist at OCEARCH.
“When we tagged him, he was impressive,” Hueter said.
Scientists are collating details from trackers to help learn about the lives of sharks – including their travel patterns.
OCEARCH captures and fits the apex predators with an electronic tracker that “pings” and sends data whenever they break the ocean surface, enabling researchers to establish their rough location.
This is then shared on a special online map which features individual “travel logs” of tracked sharks.
Ironbound has been tracked swimming “back and forth from where we found him in Nova Scotia and the Florida Keys several times,” he added.
In May, the sharks migrate “north to the very rich feeding grounds off of Canada and the northeastern US,” said Hueter.
Scientific nonprofit the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy has documented more than 600 sharks in Cape Cod waters for nearly a decade.
Staff scientist Megan Winton is adamant that “white sharks are not monsters.” She added: “They’re not lurking off our beaches. Humans are not on the menu.”
The Florida Museum of Natural History’s international shark attack File investigated 108 shark-human “interactions” worldwide in 2022.
Of these, 57 were “unprovoked bites” where a bite on a live human occurs in the shark’s natural habitat with no human provocation.
“The United States recorded the most unprovoked shark bites in 2022, with 41 confirmed cases,” it said.