White shark Keji pings off eastern Florida. Is he heading toward Gulf of Mexico again?

Here they come.

Great white sharks love Florida waters during the winter, and Keji is among the first arrivals — at least that we can track.

Keji is moving south, as an Ocearch research expedition moves north from Jacksonville. Coincidence?

Where is white shark Keji?

White shark Keji pinged southeast of St. Augustine Nov. 30, 2023.
White shark Keji pinged southeast of St. Augustine Nov. 30, 2023.

Keji pinged at 9:42 p.m. Thursday southeast of St. Augustine, northeast of Daytona Beach.

What is a ping?

As part of its research, Ocearch tags a shark with a satellite receiver.

Whenever the shark's dorsal fin breaks the surface of the water, a signal is sent to a satellite, allowing people to follow where the shark is on Ocearch's website.

Meet great white shark Keji

Keji was tagged by Ocearch Sept. 22, 2021, off Ironbound Island, Nova Scotia.

At that time, Keji was classified as a juvenile white shark, weighing in at 548 pounds. He was 9 feet, 7 inches long.

Keji was named after the Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site, which is located in the region near where Ocearch tagged him.

This isn't Keji's first trip to Florida

White shark Keji is no stranger to Florida, having made previous trips around the state and into the Gulf of Mexico.
White shark Keji is no stranger to Florida, having made previous trips around the state and into the Gulf of Mexico.

Keji apparently loves the Gulf of Mexico, and has spent time there in both 2022 and earlier this year.

What is the Southeast Expedition by Ocearch?

Along with 41 collaborators from 28 research institutions, Ocearch will help scientists "collect data to support 24 science projects to help solve, for the first time, the life history of the white shark in the Western North Atlantic Ocean.

"During Expedition Southeast, OCEARCH’s goal will be to study mature animals to better understand how they utilize their overwintering area, and identify what oceanographic features and diet resources are important to them.

The expedition left Jacksonville Nov. 27 and will head north to Morehead City, North Carolina, by Dec. 15.

Follow the team on social media on X, formerly known as Twitter, @OCEARCH. 

Are there a lot of shark attacks in Florida?

Florida has ranked No. 1 in the number of shark bites for decades. Florida’s 16 cases in 2022 represent 39% of the U.S. total and 28% of unprovoked bites worldwide, according to the Florida Museum. Florida’s most recent five-year annual average is 22 incidents.

None of the 16 Florida cases in 2022 were fatal.

Of the 16 unprovoked shark attacks, seven occurred in Volusia County, followed by four in Monroe County and one each in Martin, Nassau, Pinellas, Brevard and Palm Beach counties.

Is it great white shark or white shark?

The terms represent the same species, Carcharodon carcharias.

Most scientists seem to prefer to use the name white shark. Most people seem to prefer saying great white shark or great white.

How big can white sharks get?

The white shark is born at approximately 4 feet long and can grow up to about 20 feet long, weighing over 4,000 pounds.

What is the biggest white shark ever recorded?

The biggest great white shark ever recorded is a female shark named Deep Blue.

She was spotted and filmed for the 2014 episode of Shark Week’s “Jaws Strikes Back” and measures in at 20 feet long and is estimated to be more than 5,000 pounds. Scientists believe she’s about 50 years old.

Deep Blue has her own Facebook page, with 12,000 followers.

This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: Great white shark Keji pings off St. Augustine. Track him Ocearch