We do not get a lot of great white sharks off the British coast, but that is not to say that we do not get any. Take Lydia, for example. Lydia is a great white who was tagged by OCEARCH, an organisation which specialises in the study of great whites and other apex predators.

Since she was tagged, she has meandered from the Florida to Nova Scotia, and from there across the Atlantic. She has just crossed the mid-Atlantic ridge, and, if we project her course a little imaginatively, should be pitching up off Newquay in time for the Easter holidays. Newquay, surf capital of the UK, is rich pickings for a great white with a social conscience.

You can follow her route in real time, here.

We had some discussion about how best to deal with a shark attack in class yesterday. Krasimira was all for punching it on the nose, but Krasimira is from Bulgaria and Bulgaria has only limited experience of shark attack. So while I have read stories about Australians punching great whites about the head and getting away with it, apparently you should aim instead for the eyes or gills. Or you could just ignore it and get on with your life, as one New Zealander did a few weeks ago; after his brush with a shark, James Grant, who is a junior doctor, sewed his leg back on with a first aid kit he kept in his car, and went to the pub. They are made of stronger stuff down there.

Lydia may not make it to Cornwall in the end. There is speculation that she is pregnant, and that she is heading for birthing grounds, possibly off the coast of Portugal, or Turkey, or, according to the Plymouth Herald, Plymouth. Or she may just turn around head back to Florida. I think that’s what I would do, if I were Lydia.


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