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Old 12-24-2012, 03:24 PM   #1
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Southeastern US White Shark Encounter Database

Many of you know me and what I do, but for those that don't my name is Mike McCallister and I am a research biologist at the University of North Florida. As some of you may remember, I have been very interested in the white sharks that are present off the southeastern US during the winter. I am posting this to make the diving community aware of some new research we have begun at UNF, along with colleagues from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (MDMF).

I would like to encourage divers, fishermen, boaters, etc. to report any white shark encounters/sightings they have. We have set up an online survey that can be found at www.unf.edu/sharks. The survey is under the White Shark Encounter Database tab, along with an informational flyer. Reports should include: date and time of the sighting, location (lat/long), and any other pertinent information (pictures, activity of the shark, etc.). The more detailed the report, the better! Also, reports of past sightings (within the past couple years) are also encouraged! This post will also be kept as a sticky and reports can also be made here as well.

We know very little about the behavior and movements of white sharks in the North Atlantic, or "great whites" as they are commonly referred to. White sharks are known to spend the summer months in the waters off Massachusetts and New England. Recently, tagging studies being conducted by researchers at MDMF have shown that white sharks make a southern migration at the end of the summer, and spend the winter months off the southeastern US (for more info on the MDMF research click here). Yet little is known about white shark habits while they are present in the waters of the southeastern US.

In the last two years there have been numerous sightings of white sharks off the southeastern US, primarily off of NE Florida and SE Georgia, and the number of sightings appears to be going up. In an effort to gain a better understanding of white shark movements, we have set up the Southeastern US White Shark Encounter Database. The goal of this database is to record and document white shark sightings off the southeastern US. This database will allow us to keep an ongoing, long-term record of white shark movements, and help us gain a better understanding of their movements.

Below are three pictures/files with further information. The first is an informational flyer (PDF) that has basic information about the database and how to report the sightings. The second is a larger copy of a map of white shark sightings from 2010-2012. The last is a picture of a white shark that was spotted by the Right Whale Aerial Observation team off Jacksonville.

Thanks for the help and participation! Feel free to contact me by PM or by email m.mccallister@unf.edu. You can also email any reports, questions, or comments to our lab email address: SharkProgram@unf.edu
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:43 PM   #2
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Re: Southeastern US White Shark Encounter Database

Good work Mike!

It was great to finally meet you at the recent FACT Array meeting at the FWC Lab in Jupiter.

Good luck on your project. Tony


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Old 03-16-2013, 02:42 PM   #3
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Re: Southeastern US White Shark Encounter Database

Just FYI a great white was spotted today just off the beach south of ponce inlet. Shark was approximately 12 ft
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:23 PM   #4
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Talking Re: Southeastern US White Shark Encounter Database

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Originally Posted by theblueghost View Post
Just FYI a great white was spotted today just off the beach south of ponce inlet. Shark was approximately 12 ft
In the old days people expressed major doubt about reports like this.

Not anymore! - thanks to Mike's friends tracking these monster sharks.
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:46 PM   #5
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Re: Southeastern US White Shark Encounter Database

Maybe they want to come tag this one also
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:36 AM   #6
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Re: Southeastern US White Shark Encounter Database

Mike, we were off St Aug today and ran in to DL Barge. There was a guy bottom fishing said he had hooked a GW earlier and lost him! Said around 12' long. He then told us he didn't care if we dived the spot. We don't dive a spot with hooks bobbing around. Take it for what it's worth.
Best wishes on your research
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:37 PM   #7
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Re: Southeastern US White Shark Encounter Database

Somethig to think about surfing the poles or just diving the jetties!
This is the Ocearch Team hooked up at the mouth of the St. Johns River.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:42 PM   #8
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Re: Southeastern US White Shark Encounter Database

Quote:
Originally Posted by Money $hot View Post
Mike, we were off St Aug today and ran in to DL Barge. There was a guy bottom fishing said he had hooked a GW earlier and lost him! Said around 12' long. He then told us he didn't care if we dived the spot. We don't dive a spot with hooks bobbing around. Take it for what it's worth.
Best wishes on your research
Any chance DL Barge is south of St. Augustine inlet and roughly 3.7nm off Anastasia State Park? If so, I can confirm that guys report. The FWC Right Whale Aerial Observer Team spotted a white the same day at 12:50pm, and said it was about 13-14'. Not pics since the water was turbid...but it could be the same one. Around what time where you guys in that area?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shooter Dan View Post
Somethig to think about surfing the poles or just diving the jetties!
This is the Ocearch Team hooked up at the mouth of the St. Johns River.
Just an FYI that was from a few weeks ago. But yea...pretty sure there are a lot more whites close to shore near the river mouths all up and down the SE US...a lot more than people prolly care to think about!
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:51 PM   #9
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Re: Southeastern US White Shark Encounter Database

Mike sent ya a PM with the info. There was a plane that flew over us on a farther out dive earlier in the day, could of been the FWC guys.
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:04 PM   #10
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Re: Southeastern US White Shark Encounter Database

Quote:
Originally Posted by pirate_diver View Post
Any chance DL Barge is south of St. Augustine inlet and roughly 3.7nm off Anastasia State Park? If so, I can confirm that guys report. The FWC Right Whale Aerial Observer Team spotted a white the same day at 12:50pm, and said it was about 13-14'. Not pics since the water was turbid...but it could be the same one. Around what time where you guys in that area?



Just an FYI that was from a few weeks ago. But yea...pretty sure there are a lot more whites close to shore near the river mouths all up and down the SE US...a lot more than people prolly care to think about!
No, the DL is 18 miles off at 85 degrees.
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:26 PM   #11
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Re: Southeastern US White Shark Encounter Database

If the number of sightings is increasing maybe it is a sign of over population. If they keep getting more common in the south we will have to post graphic "Don't feed the sharks!" signs on all the beaches.
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:17 PM   #12
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Re: Southeastern US White Shark Encounter Database

Saw a white today in 60 ft south of Sebastian inlet. Headed north. Estimate it at about 13 ft. Right on the surface.
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Old 06-17-2013, 03:35 PM   #13
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Re: Southeastern US White Shark Encounter Database

Quote:
Originally Posted by barry1961 View Post
If the number of sightings is increasing maybe it is a sign of over population. If they keep getting more common in the south we will have to post graphic "Don't feed the sharks!" signs on all the beaches.
If numbers are increasing, which there is evidence that is the case, it is NOT a sign of over population. It is a sign that they are actually rebounding from being overfished back in the late 80s and 90s. There is a LONG way to go before we have to worry about over population of whites.
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Old 06-17-2013, 03:37 PM   #14
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Re: Southeastern US White Shark Encounter Database

Quote:
Originally Posted by Butcher View Post
Saw a white today in 60 ft south of Sebastian inlet. Headed north. Estimate it at about 13 ft. Right on the surface.
Very cool. How far south of Sebastian/can you give an approximate location? Any chance you managed to get a picture?
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Old 06-21-2013, 05:38 AM   #15
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Re: Southeastern US White Shark Encounter Database

Any acoustic sensors in SC,I saw what looked like what you described last week there.Another guy saw a 12' off Charleston last week in 155'.
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