Scientists working with maritime data collection agency OCEARCH in Atlantic waters have caught and tagged a female great white shark believed to be about 50 years of age, in the process nicknaming her Nukumi.
Researchers from the facility took to Twitter after the tagging, calling the shark an “ancient mature female white shark or ‘Queen of the Ocean’”.
The shark measured in at over 5.2 metres in length and weighed in excess of 1,600 kg.
“We named her ‘Nukumi’, pronounced noo-goo-mee, for the legendary wise old grandmother figure of the Native American Mi’kmaq people,” the scientists wrote on Facebook at the weekend.
Nukumi was the largest of the eight great white sharks tagged and released during the OCEARCH expedition off Canada.
OCEARCH said “with the new data we’ve collected, this matriarch will share her #wisdom with us for years to come.”
“She will continue to help balance fish stocks in the surrounding waters, and we look forward to learning more from this wise guardian of our ocean’s eco-system.”
Great white sharks have no known predators, and are found in coastal waters all over the world with larger females known to grow to lengths in excess of 6.1 metres and weigh in at up to 2,270kg in extreme cases.
The lifespan of most great whites is estimated at around 70 years.