Great white sharks are not typically a species seen in the waters off of Ireland, but after photographer Bernard Fitzgerald discovered a porbeagle shark, a species in the same family as great whites, washed up on Aughacasla beach in Castlegregory, Co Kerry, it seems that more attention is on the potential movement of great white sharks into the area.

The attention brought to this 6-foot long porbeagle comes in large part from the attention on Lydia, the first great white shark known to have crossed the Atlantic. She was tagged last year in Florida as part of Ocearch, and is being monitored as she swims within about 750 miles from Ireland's shores. The trek is one that has scientists fascinated with the unexpected route.

The porbeagle looks much like a great white, though smaller, so naturally people wondered if it was actually the great white that had washed up. Even though not the species that gives everyone the chills when they think of sharks, the porbeagle is still news-worthy -- no one has heard of one washing up before, and there weren't any signs of injury.

Meanwhile, marine biologist Kevin Flannery told The Mirror, that a ban on hunting sharks may be the reason great white sharks are being seen so far north, since usually they are caught around Africa, Spain and Portugal, never making it so far north. He thinks perhaps Lydia is following a traditional feeding route used by great white sharks in the past.
"The satellite-tagged shark, which measure 15ft and weighs around 2,000Ib, was spotted 1,000 miles off the coast of Cornwall last week. If she continued to swim along her trajectory, she may hit British shores this week. If she succeeds, continuing to travel at a speed of 35mph, she will become the first of her species to be documented crossing from one side of the Atlantic to the other," reports International Business Times.

You can watch the fascinating progress of Lydia on Ocearch's website.

lydia progress

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Jaymi Heimbuch ( @jaymiheimbuch ) focuses on wildlife conservation and animal news from her home base in San Francisco.

Great white sharks in ... Ireland??
The strange appearance of a huge shark washed up on a beach in Ireland has everyone scratching their heads.