Back in 2013, shark scientists tagged one of the largest great whites anyone had ever seen. Nicknamed “Deep Blue”, the 20-foot (6-meter) long female was then featured in a Discovery Channel episode that aired during Shark Week — “Jaws Strikes Back” in 2014.
Just a few weeks ago, Deep Blue was caught on camera again. Researcher Mauricio Hoyos Padilla was diving off Mexico’s Guadalupe Island when the massive pregnant shark came in for a closer look at the researchers’ cage.
Now, Padilla has released more footage he shot of the shark (full video), and guess what? Deep Blue is still as imposing as ever. Look at how she absolutely dwarfs the metal cage she came to investigate:
But there is more to this story than just awe. Padilla is using the press circling the great white to remind everyone that these magnificent creatures need to be protected. “When I saw Deep Blue for the first time, there was just one thought on my mind: hope,” Padilla writes. “A shark of that size is at least 50 years old and that tells me protection and conservation efforts are really working.”
Pregnant females like Deep Blue (and their pups) face double threats from fishing (lines and gill nets) and illegal trade — as do all great whites. To that end, Padilla is encouraging those of us who find Deep Blue as fascinating has he does to donate to Pelagios-Kakunja (note: the site is in Spanish), a non-profit that studies the travels and migratory patterns of top marine predators.
“Our main goal is to tag the pregnant white sharks and determine the nursery grounds there are being used near shore in order to give the Mexican Government the tools to protect them.”
It really is Deep Blue’s sea, after all.