The annual summertime tradition of Shark Week is upon us. And with it comes an uptick in attention toward the oceans’ mightiest predators.
In the last week, a video of a beached shark getting water dumped upon it and then pulled out to sea by a boat has garnered more than 350,000 views and about 15,000 likes between uploads by three different accounts.
Does this video depict the real rescue of a beached great white shark?
Yes. The video is from a 2015 rescue of an Atlantic great white shark later dubbed Jamison. Jamison was a juvenile at the time, which is why the shark in the video looks smaller than a great white shark typically would be.
WHAT WE FOUND
The video posted to Twitter is just a small part of a four-minute long video posted to YouTube by bystander Mike Bartel on July 13, 2015. The description of the video, which has racked up more than 42 million views, says the juvenile shark beached itself trying to catch seagulls.
The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy posted the next stage of the July 13 rescue to YouTube the next day. In that video, the people in the boat guide the shark out to sea before letting it go.
Later that year, an Atlantic White Shark Conservancy (AWSC) blog post revealed that the rescue shark was one of three that washed ashore in Cape Cod in 2015. Finally, an AWSC Facebook post on the one-year anniversary of the shark rescue added that the shark was tagged with a tracker during its rescue and was named Jamison.
Jamison now has a Twitter account, although it hasn’t posted any updates since the last time it was detected near Cape Cod in August 2020.
If the shark in the video looks smaller than a great white shark should look, that’s because it wasn’t a fully-grown adult at the time. The Florida Museum says that white sharks are 3.5-5 feet long at birth, but males mature when they’re between 10-13 feet long and females mature when they’re between 14-16 feet long and can even surpass 20 feet in length. Jamison was just 7 feet long at the time of his rescue, according to the AWSC’s video.
And while there wasn’t a measure of Jamison’s weight at the time of his rescue, he was likely incredibly heavy. Oceana, an ocean advocacy organization, says great white sharks can weigh up to 6,600 pounds.
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