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Longboat Key Wednesday, Sep. 19, 2012 5 years ago

Great white named for original Shark Lady

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

A great white shark tagged and released Sept. 13 was nicknamed “Genie” after Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium founder and “Shark Lady” Dr. Eugenie “Genie” Clark.

The female great white was more than 2,500 pounds and nearly 15 feet long was taggged during a joint research expedition led by the nonprofit organization OCEARCH and researchers from the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries, Mote and other collaborators.

OCEARCH leaders are using their ship, the M/V Ocearch, to lift great whites out of the water so that researchers can collect collect biological samples and then apply tracking tags that would be impossible to attach in the water before returning the sharks to the water.

Genie is the first great white shark to be caught and released by OCEARCH in the North Atlantic, the only Atlantic great white to be tagged with a satellite transmitter that provides scientists real-time information about her geographic location and the first great white to be tagged with a motion-sensing accelerometer — meaning that like her namesake, Genie Clark, who founded the laboratory in 1955, she has made scientific history.

Clark, who turned 90 this year and continues to do research from Mote's office, was pleased to hear the news.

“I'm honored, and I'm glad the shark is still swimming,” Clark said in a prepared statement. “I've seen and dived with many great whites off Australia and it's good to hear that one has been tagged off Massachusetts, which is not far from where I was born and raised in New York. I hope this shark will be around a long time like me.”

Contact Robin Hartill at [email protected].

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