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Experts, Tracking Great White Shark Off NJ Coast, Say No Warning Is Warranted

By David Madden

CAPE MAY, N.J. (CBS) -- Now here's something that doesn't happen every day: a great white shark is swimming off the South Jersey coast.

And she's attracting a lot of attention. But, according to the experts, humans here have little to worry about.

View: @MaryLeeShark on Twitter

Track: Mary Lee Via Global Shark Tracking Site

First, get that "Jaws" music out of your head.

Marie Levine, with the Shark Research Institute, in Princeton, doesn't expect Mary Lee to be a problem.

That's right, the shark has a name. But more to the point, Levine doesn't see it as a threat.

"With 50-degree water, and she's very far offshore, no, I wouldn't think so," she told KYW Newsradio.

Lately, Mary Lee has been spotted some 10 miles off the Cape May County coast. The 3,500 pound shark is tagged and researchers have been following her for about three years now, amid concerns the species could be endangered.

In the past three years, Mary Lee has traveled over 20,000 miles.

Levine believes Mary Lee is probably headed to the waters off New England to feed -- on seals. That seems to be a great white's favorite food.

Marine Biologist Melissa Laurino said a great white shark attack is about as likely as lightning strike.

"These past few seasons, we have had an influx of harbor seals on our shorelines in Atlantic County and also Cape May County. This could be one of the possible food sources that some of our larger sharks like to feed off of," Laurino explained.

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