Mary Lee the shark swims near Sea Isle

- Mary Lee, the Great White Shark,was just off the Jersey shore Friday night and Fox 29's Hank Flynn went in the water after her. 

Hank traveled to the Absecon Inlet in Atlantic City to reflect on the phenomenon over the 16-foot Great White Shark. 
 
Hank's take? It's a good thing. For the shark, the environment, and humans. 
 
Frank Ciesielski ,a nearby fisher, had yet to see the shark. But is he were to hook Mary Lee?
 
"Well, Mary Lee's gonna have fun," said Ciesielski. "She'll probably use this for dental floss.  But I think she might have a little resistance, but not much.  But I tell you what - I think I would have more of a story to tell than she would."
 
Mary Lee's been telling her story since she was first tagged by OCEARCH in 2012.  Since then, her travels - which range from Florida to Cape Cod -- have been tracked on the OCEARCH website with a ping every time she surfaces.   
 
Bob Schoelkopf of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine knows plenty about sharks.  
 
The Center rescues stranded dolphins, seal, and other animals. They're some of the main reasons Mary Lee pays us a visit.
 
Mary Lee pinged a couple off miles off Sea Isle City Friday afternoon but there was no mention of it on her Twitter account, which has 166 thousand followers.   
 
Laura Birnbohm is a resident expert at the Atlantic City Aquarium where they have small epaulet and marbled sharks that can be pet.
 
Laura's studied Great Whites in South Africa, though, and she says the Mary Lee phenomenon helps humans better understand animals that have haunted imaginations all along.
 
"Oh, they're there," said Birnbohm. "But be aware of why they're there.  And be excited that they're there.  You know obviously, it might be a little bit scary because there's a big shark.   But she's not going to interfere with you in your natural behavior."
 
As top-of-the-food chain predators, sharks keep fish populations healthy and proportional. They even serve to clean the ocean ecosystem.  

 

 

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