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2,000-pound great white shark pings off Florida’s Gulf Coast

Unama’ki is the largest white shark currently tracked by the nonprofit group OCEARCH

Unama'ki (Courtesy of Robert Snow/OCEARCH)

Marine researchers noticed some unusual activity over the weekend when a massive great white shark was recorded off the coast of the Northwest Florida.

The shark, known as Unama’ki, registered a ping offshore of Cedar Key about 7:45 p.m. Saturday. At 15 feet and 5 inches and 2,076 pounds, Unama’ki is the largest shark currently pinging for OCEARCH, a nonprofit organization that tags sharks to monitor their activity.

“Look where Unama’ki is!” the group wrote in a recent Facebook post. “We don’t usually get white shark pings this far northeast in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Unama'ki registered a ping Saturday evening offshore of Cedar Key. (Courtesy of OCEARCH)

Unama’ki was originally tagged Sept. 20, 2019, off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, and registered its first ping about a week later. Since then, the organization’s tracker shows the shark has traveled all the way down the East Coast, around the bend of the Florida peninsula and north into the Gulf of Mexico.

“Unama’ki is what the indigenous Mi’kmaq people of Nova Scotia call Cape Breton and it means ‘land of the fog,’” the group said. “As a big mature female, Unama’ki has the potential to lead us to the site where she gives birth and exposes a new white shark nursery.”

About the Author:

A Florida transplant with Midwest roots, Garrett Pelican is the digital executive producer for News4Jax.