There were rumors abound that beloved local shark Mary Lee the Great White was on her way up North for Memorial Day, and indeed, this weekend she was detected off the southern coast of New Jersey. AND SHE WASN'T ALONE—researchers say they detected another Great White, Cisco, nearby. Shark party!!!
Mary Lee, who was tagged by OCEARCH several years ago, was radar-spotted wriggling around Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and Cape May, NJ on Saturday and was kind enough to stick around the area on Sunday. The 16-foot, 3,456-pound shark is incredibly famous, having earned her reputation as the Northeast's resident sign of summer, much like this sunburn I got after sitting in the shade in Prospect Park yesterday.
But Mary Lee wasn't alone—another Great White, Cisco, also pinged in the area on Saturday. Cisco, at 362 pounds and 8-feet, 7-inches is much smaller than Mary Lee, so she can easily take him if he leaves his dishes in the sink or forgets to take out the trash for a week. NBC News reports that Cisco had previously been working on his golf swing in the Outer Banks in North Carolina, and researchers expect he's on his way here to find some food. "Cisco is a really interesting shark," OCEARCH expedition leader Chris Fischer told the outlet. "He's likely just coming in (the Delaware Bay) to forage." Cisco is very hip.
Note that while it is startling (and incredibly rare!) to see a shark in the water, sharks likely won't bother you unless you bother them. And in fact, sharks are a bonus in this increasingly fragile ecosystem. "People should be terrified of an ocean that's not full of sharks, they keep everything in balance," Fischer said. "So, if we want to make sure that our great grandchildren can eat fish sandwiches, we need lots of big sharks." Hear, hear.