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The great white shark Lydia and her historic journey across the Atlantic

Video of Lydia’s capture and release by OCEARCH

A satellite-tagged great white shark named Lydia is on the verge of making history as the first of her species to be seen crossing the Atlantic.

As of Thursday morning, the 14.4 foot-long female was swimming above the mid-Atlantic ridge — 1,000 miles from the coasts of County Cork in Ireland and Cornwall in Britain and nearly 3,000 miles from where she was tagged by scientists off the coast of Florida as part of the OCEARCH scientific project in March 2013.

“Although Lydia is closer to Europe than North America, she technically does not cross the Atlantic until she crosses the mid-Atlantic ridge, which she has yet to do,” Dr. Gregory Skomal, senior fisheries biologist with Massachusetts Marine Fisheries, told BBC News. “She would be the first documented white shark to cross from east to west.”

The largest predatory fish on earth, these torpedo-shaped swimmers are known for their migrations of thousands of kilometers. However, there is no reliable data on the endangered species’ population.

According to the organization’s website, the OCEARCH project is being used “to generate previously unattainable data on the movement, biology and health of sharks to protect their future while enhancing public safety and education.”

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