‘Queen of the Ocean’: 50-year-old great white shark seen off Canada coast

Liam James
·2-min read
Nukumi, a great white weighing more than 1.5 tonnes was found off Canada's Atlantic coast (Ocearch)
Nukumi, a great white weighing more than 1.5 tonnes was found off Canada's Atlantic coast (Ocearch)

Researchers working off Canada's Atlantic coast found an enormous great white shark weighing more than 1.5 tonnes and measuring over 17 feet in length.

The extraordinary female - dubbed "Queen of the Ocean" - was captured and tagged by scientists from Ocearch, who are currently conducting research on sharks and other large marine animals off the coast of Nova Scotia.

Scientists said they named the shark "Nukumi", pronounced noo-goo-mee, after a legendary grandmother figure of the local Native American Mi'kmaq people.

Chris Fischer, who is leading the Nova Scotia expedition, estimated that Nukumi was aged around 50 years old and has birthed up to 100 offspring.

Scientists say Nukumi will provide heaps of new data due to her sizeOcearch
Scientists say Nukumi will provide heaps of new data due to her sizeOcearch

Mr Fischer introduced Nukumi: "Queen of the ocean, matriarch of the sea, balance-keeper of the future," adding she was very likely a grandmother.

"Really humbling to stand next to a large animal like that," he continued.

"When you look at all the healed-over scars, blotches on her skin, you're really looking at the story of her life and it makes you feel really insignificant."

Ocearch have conducted several expeditions off the coast of North America since 2018 in order to collect data on whales, sharks and other large marine creatures.

In their mission statement, Ocearch say their aim is to “accelerate the ocean’s return to abundance” by the pursuit of data.

Nukumi has earned some battle scars in her many decades under the seaOcearch
Nukumi has earned some battle scars in her many decades under the seaOcearch

Nukumi's discovery will lead to a "whole new data-set" as scientists simply do not have much information on sharks of this size, Mr Fischer said in a later blog post.

“With the new data we've collected, this matriarch will share her wisdom with us for years to come,” Ocearch wrote in a Facebook post.

The great white shark is the world’s largest known predatory fish, according to the World Wildlife Federation (WWF). Despite being one of the ocean’ s most capable predators, the WWF lists the great white as a vulnerable species which is decreasing in numbers.

The largest great white shark ever recorded, nicknamed “Deep Blue”, weighed over 2 tonnes and measured around 20 feet from head to tail. The last known sighting of Deep Blue was in 2019 by divers off the coast of Hawaii.

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