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    The Largest Great White Sharks Ever Found Off Virginia Waters

    By Nixza Gonzalez,


    Great white sharks are fascinating animals. They’ve been the focus of many stories, movies, and television shows. Although these large predators are labeled as aggressive and blood-thirsty, this isn’t the case. Great white shark attacks are rare! They don’t actively hunt for humans, but you should never mess with a great white shark. Although not as common as other species, did you know that great white sharks frequently swim off the coast of Virginia? Follow along to learn more about the largest great white sharks ever found off Virginia waters!

    Are Great White Sharks Common in Virginia Waters?

    Great white sharks travel far and are found throughout the world. These large animals can reach over 2,000 pounds easily! Great white sharks live anywhere they please, but they’ve been pinned the most by shark tracking organization OCEARCH in Cape Cod Massachusetts , and around North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

    Although there have been some great white shark sightings and pings in Virginia waters, it’s uncommon. Instead, the most common sharks in Virginia waters are dusky sharks, smooth dogfish, Atlantic sharp-nose sharks, spinner sharks, scalloped hammerhead sharks , and bull sharks.

    Great white shark sightings and pings are uncommon off Virginia waters.


    The Largest Great White Sharks Ever Found Off Virginia Waters

    Great white sharks are very large fish ! Female great whites are larger than males. Most female great white sharks reach between 15 to 16 feet but can grow up to 20 feet long. Male great white sharks typically stop growing between 11 to 13 feet, which is still very impressive! Although uncommon in Virginia, there have been some large sightings of great white sharks recently! Follow along to discover the largest great white sharks ever found off Virginia waters.

    Ferg, December 2022

    The first large shark found off Virginia waters on our list is Ferg, a male 11-foot 8-inch shark tracked by OCEARCH. This large shark weighs 1,621 pounds. He was first tagged on September 30, 2019, in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Within 1,169 days, this large predator traveled about 4,600 miles. Ferg was pinned near Virginia as recently as December 2022. However, Ferg was near Virginia Beach in April 2020. This large shark travels far. He has traveled from Nova Scotia down to South Florida by the Keys.

    Ferg is an 11-foot 8-inch great white shark found off Virginia waters in April and December 2022.

    © De Maddalena

    Breton, March 2023

    Breton is even larger than Ferg! He is a male great white shark that measures about 13 feet and 3 inches. He weighs 1,437 pounds and was first tagged on September 12, 2020, in Scatarie Island, Nova Scotia. Breton travels far and mainly stays near the Carolinas down to Florida. However, he’s been pinged off of Back Bay, Virginia on March 3, 2023. Previously, Breton was pinged on March 21, 2021, near Virginia. His latest ping on June 7, 2024 placed him in the ocean near the South Carolina coast, having swam 35,481 miles over the coarse of 1,364 days.

    Carolina, August 2019

    One of the largest sharks spotted or pinged in Virginia waters is Caroline , a female sub-adult great white shark measuring 12 feet and 9 inches. She weighs about 1,435 pounds. Caroline was tagged on February 26, 2019, in Hilton Head South Carolina . In 1,711 days, she’s traveled 17,151 miles. Although she’s only stopped a few times in Virginia, the latest ping was on November 2, 2023, near Long Island, New York.

    Freya, June 2022

    Like other great white sharks on our list, Freya rarely ventures into Virginia. Still, for a few days in June 2022, she traveled up the Virginia coast. Freya is a female sub-adult 11 foot and 8-inch long great white. She weighs 883 pounds and is very active. Freya was first tagged on March 25, 2021, in Onslow Bay. In just 664 days, Freya has swam 6,705 miles.

    Tancook, October 2022

    Another large great white found off Virginia waters is Tancook . He is a 9-foot and 9-inch juvenile great white that weighs 715 pounds. Tancook was first tagged on September 22, 2021, in Ironbound Island, Nova Scotia. While Tancook is rarely in the Virginia area, he traveled through in October 2022. One of his most recent pings suggests he was last traveling off the coast of North Carolina.

    Scot, November 2022

    Scot is another large white shark that pinged off the coast of Virginia. He is a 12-foot adult male shark weighing about 1,644 pounds. Scot was tagged on September 8, 2021, in Ironbound Island, Nova Scotia. He travels far and has swam 13,885 miles in just 948 days. Scot was pinged a few times near Virginia, however, the most recent ping was around the northeastern coast of Florida on April 13, 2024. Scot spends most of his time in the Carolinas and Florida touching the Gulf of Mexico.

    Miss May, January 2023

    Last but not least is Miss May , an iconic and massive female great white. She is 10 feet and 2 inches long and weighs 846 pounds. Miss May was first tagged on February 15, 2019, in Fernandina Beach, Florida. Like other great whites on our list, she spends a lot of time in the Carolinas and South Florida. Unlike other great whites though, she has visited Virginia’s coast many times, mainly in 2021 and 2022. In 1,469 days, Miss May has swam 12,572 miles.

    Summary of The Largest Great White Sharks Ever Found Off Virginia Waters

    Rank Shark Size
    1 Breton 13 ft, 3 inches; 1,437 pounds
    2 Caroline 12 ft, 9 inches; 1,435 pounds
    3 Scot 12 feet; 1,644 pounds
    4 Ferg 11 ft, 8 inches; 1,612 pounds
    5 Freya 11 ft, 8 inches; 883 pounds
    6 Miss May 10 ft, 2 inches; 846 pounds
    7 Tancook 9 ft, 9 inches; 715 pounds

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    The post The Largest Great White Sharks Ever Found Off Virginia Waters appeared first on A-Z Animals .

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