Great white shark Nukumi, a matriarch, pings off Hatteras Island

Screenshot from OCEARCH video.

Yes, we know there are sharks in the ocean. But the sheer size and age of this one seemed worth a mention.

Researchers with the OCEARCH shark tracker program posted yesterday about the travels of a matriarch of the ocean, great white shark Nukumi, weighing in at 3.541 pounds and 17.2 feet long. She was tagged with OCEARCH satellite tracking technology in Nova Scotia on Oct. 2. She then traveled down the coast, arriving off Hatteras island on Veterans Day and has been hanging around the general area since.

OCEARCH track of great white shark Nukumi.

Nukumi is one of the oldest and largest sharks OCEARCH has tagged. She’s believed to be about 50 years old and mother to hundreds of children. The shark is named after a legendary wise old grandmother figure of the Native American Mi’kmaq people, a culture that has deep roots in Canadian Maritime provinces. 

And she’s not alone. OCEARCH noted the pings from several other sharks between Nags Head and Ocracoke.

OCEARCH says white sharks are making their annual southern migration to the warmer climes off the North and South Carolina coasts.

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Kari Pugh is digital director for, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and News Talk 92.3 WZPR. Reach her at