CLEVELAND - Its scientific name is Carcharodon carcharias. We know it as a great white shark.
But, this is no ordinary shark. The mature female great white is a monster, measuring in at 16 feet long and weighing more than 3,400 pounds. What's more: this huge fish is currently prowling off the Carolina coastline near Myrtle Beach.
How do we know this? Because scientists are tracking it via satellite GPS technology. The scientists are from OCEARCH Research Group, all for the purpose of shark conservation.
This great white shark, affectionately known as Mary Lee, was captured and tagged back on Sept. 17, 2012 off the coast of Cape Cod. The researchers named her Mary Lee after team member Chris Fischer's mother.
"My parents have done so much. I was waiting and waiting for a special shark to name after her and this is truly the most historic and legendary fish I have ever been a part of and it set the tone for Cape Cod," Fischer said.
So far, the shark has traveled several hundred miles south along the East Coast in just over two months. You, too, can track Mary Lee. OCEARCH has a website where anyone can see the shark's current location. (Click here: http://on.wews.com/Sh6bvi)
OCEARCH supports leading researchers and institutions seeking to attain groundbreaking data on the biology and health of sharks, in conjunction with basic research on shark life history and migration.
"Sharks play a crucial role of maintaining balance in the delicate oceanic ecosystem as they have an effect on all levels in the food web below them. Unfortunately, sharks are being slaughtered every day putting the shark at risk for survival. The navigational and migratory data being collected from OCEARCH will be used to support and devise successful conservation and management strategies which will affect policy for global change," the group said.