First great white shark to cross Atlantic 'may be pregnant' (and still heading for UK)


The first great white shark known to cross from one side of the Atlantic to the other may be pregnant, according to the head of the expedition tracking her.

On Sunday, the satellite-tagged shark called Lydia, became the first documented shark to cross the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the boundary line between east and west, and was only 800 miles from the UK.

Lydia has covered more than 19,400 miles in the past year since being fitted with a GPS tracker in Florida.

And, this weekend, it looked like she was heading for UK waters.

Chris Fischer, the founding chain of the Ocearch shark tagging project and its expedition leader, said he thought Lydia might be pregnant and that it was entirely plausible that Lydia could reach the UK, but believes it more likely she will head to the Mediterranean.

According to the West Briton, he said: "If I had to guess, I would guess that Lydia is pregnant, and that she has been out in the open ocean gestating her babies, and that this spring she will lead us to where those baby white sharks are born - the nursery.

"If you forced me to guess where that was, I'd say it was over in the Mediterranean, near Turkey... but that's longball I'm playing. She could turn around right now and head back to Florida."

However, speaking to the BBC, contrary to common belief, he said that British waters were not too cold for great whites.

"One thing we have learnt just in the last year with sharks in the Atlantic is what we used to think was too cold simply is not," he said.

"Lydia has come over from Nova Scotia [in eastern Canada]... These sharks have the capacity to deal with very cold water temperatures for long periods."

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