Great White Shark Mary Lee & Beluga Whales Vacation in New Jersey

posted: 06/02/15
by: Danny Clemens
Great White Shark Swimming near South Africa.

The waters off of New Jersey are getting awfully crowded these days. A famed great white shark and three beluga whales are joining the throngs of summer tourists flocking to the beach to enjoy the first unofficial weeks of summer.

The shark, Mary Lee, was recently located off of the southern coast of New Jersey. She is equipped with a GPS tracker that pings her location to shark research organization OCEARCH. Mary Lee routinely travels up and down the eastern seaboard of the United States, but has been spotted as far south as Bermuda. She weighs in at a whopping 3,456 pounds, and measures 16 feet long.

More curiously, marine wildlife experts are also keeping a close eye on three juvenile beluga whales also spotted off of the New Jersey coast and in the Navesink river. Beluga whales are generally found farther north than New Jersey, occupying coastal waters throughout Canada, Russia and Greenland.

Some experts fear that the whales could become trapped in the river's waters. Stranding coordinators from NOAA and several private institutions are monitoring the location of the whales should an intervention be necessary.

NOAA is calling on the public to report further sightings of the whales, and reminds all spectators to remain a safe distance away from wildlife:

"For your safety and the protection of marine wildlife, we'd like to remind everyone to keep a safe distance of at least 150 feet from the whales," said Logan Gregory, acting deputy director of NOAA's Office of Law Enforcement. "Please keep an eye out for our guests and help keep them safe."

Learn more about beluga whales:

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Belugas: Canaries of the Sea

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