Sharks are part of our natural environment in Key Biscayne. They come, they go. Some are small, some are very large.
Over the Christmas holiday a Great White Shark named Ironbound was reported on the southern tip of the island.
How do we know it? Because Ocearch, an environmental organization that follows the movements of all sorts of marine animals, was tracking the electronic beacon attached to Ironbound.
Ocearch also gives their tracking targets names, thus “Ironbound.”
The 12-foot, 998-pound shark was tracked moving south of Bill Baggs State Park just before Christmas. He was heading south and was subsequently tracked moving to the west of Key Largo then past Big Pine Key. On Jan. 5 his signal pinged just east of Key West.
Ironbound, named for the West Ironbound Island near Nova Scotia, began his winter sojourn in the frigid waters off the coast of Cape Cod in October. Ocearch tracked the shark’s movement down the east coast past New York, Ocean City, Maryland, Cape Hatteras NC and then WIlmington, Charleston and arriving off Jacksonville FL on Dec, 5.
He pretty much hugged the coast the rest of his journey south before passing Key Biscayne. White shark, like humankind snowbirds, enjoy Florida’s warm waters during the winter. Ironbound is currently sharing the waters of Key West with Nova, slightly smaller at 11 feet, but last weighing in at 1,286 ponds.
Ocearch is an environmental organization that works to protect sharks, especially those species in danger of extension. The last census of Great Whites showed around 400 of them in the world. A smaller white is currently being tracked off.
Watch a CNN video on this sighting here.