Ironbound, the great white shark is hanging out near South Florida

Great White Shark
Posted at 12:28 PM, Dec 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-28 12:28:58-05

(CNN) -- Tourists and snowbirds aren't the only ones spending the holidays around South Florida.

A 12-foot, 4-inch long great white shark that researchers have named Ironbound has been tracked to the waters south of Key Biscayne, near Miami.

The adult male shark weighs 998 pounds, according to the group OCEARCH, which tagged and is tracking the shark.

Ironbound was caught and tagged on October 3 off Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, and has traveled 1,473 miles down the US East Coast since then.

He's named after West Ironbound Island, which is near where he was caught.

It's been a busy week for the shark trackers.

OCEARCH said that seven of its tagged sharks have pinged with their location in recent days.

Ironbound is the farthest south and a sub-adult male named Shaw is the farthest north. The 10-foot, 3-inch long, 564-pounder was tracked swimming near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

OCEARCH is an ocean data-collection organization that has tagged and collected samples from hundreds of sharks, dolphins, seals and other animals.

The group is using that data to learn about migration patterns and uncover previously unknown details about shark lives.

Great white sharks are the world's largest predatory fish, according to the World Wildlife Federation, and are known to rip bite-sized chunks out of their prey which are swallowed whole.

Despite their fearsome reputation, the WWF says the sharks are a vulnerable species and their numbers are decreasing.

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