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1,400-pound great white shark makes New Year's appearance off Florida coast after 34,000-mile journey

Rising temperatures in the ocean could mean more sharks near shore
Rising temperatures in the ocean could mean more sharks near shore 02:03

A great white shark nearly the size of a car made a New Year's Day appearance off the Florida coast near Daytona Beach. The more than 1,400-pound male shark, named Breton, has been tracked by researchers for years since he was first tagged in Nova Scotia. 

Breton is a 13-foot, 3-inch great white shark that marine science nonprofit OCEARCH has been tracking since 2020. The adult shark was first tagged by researchers in September of that year near Scatarie Island, Nova Scotia, meaning that he's since made a nearly 34,000-mile journey to Florida's waters in the years since. At the beginning of December, Breton was detected in the North Atlantic in line with New England. 

Researchers say that Breton was the first shark that they tagged in their 2020 Nova Scotia expedition. He has previously made trips to Florida around the same time of year, and in 2022, he went viral after his tag pings revealed that he had seemingly created a portrait of a shark outline in coastal waters. 

And Breton isn't the only great white to have made a recent appearance along the state's Atlantic coast. 

On Dec. 28, a 522-pound, 10-foot-long juvenile shark named Penny was spotted further south near Boynton Beach, and was later tracked off the Florida Keys days later. 

Dr. Bob Hueter, OCEARCH senior advisor for science and academics, told CBS News affiliate WKMG that the sharks are having a "winter snowbird" moment. 

"The sharks start heading south in the fall as the temperatures drop up north," Huter said. "We have probably about a dozen species that are on the move right now." 

Hueter told the station that shark migration started around mid-October and lasted through roughly early December, at which time, many sharks are "off the Florida East coast." 

"And then a great number of them go all the way around the Keys and into the Gulf of Mexico, the eastern Gulf of Mexico primarily," he said, adding that they will typically remain between one and 100 miles offshore. 

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