The 9 Largest Great White Sharks Ever Found Off Canada Waters

Written by Megan Martin
Published: November 13, 2023
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There are hundreds of great white sharks off Canada. While we may not be able to know the size and location of every individual, thanks to OCEARCH’s tagging efforts in recent years, we can track several different sharks. Below, learn about 9 of the largest great white sharks off Canada.

1. Hal

Under the waves circle two great white sharks. Illustration

Male great white sharks usually grow to be between 11 and 13 feet long.

©solarseven/Shutterstock.com

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An adult at the time of his tagging, Hal measured 13 feet and 1 inch. He weighed a total of 1,376 pounds. He was first tagged on September 29, 2018, off Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. His last ping was reported in August 2021, although he later gave off a Z-ping in February of the next year. His last location was north of Heckmans Island. Prior to this, he had visited Loye Island and other nearby waters throughout the year.

Male great white sharks tend to grow to an average maximum size of 13 feet. Since Hal was an adult at the time and already measuring over this, he is likely one of the larger great white sharks known to have visited Canadian waters.

2. Scot

Can you imagine a shark that weighs more than a polar bear swimming off the coast of Canada? While it may seem difficult, there’s at least one individual out there just like that!

Scot is a great white shark that was first tagged as an adult near Ironbound Island, Nova Scotia, on September 8, 2021. The researchers at OCEARCH were able to get a length and weight from Scot at this time, which proved to be impressive. Scot measured just over 12 feet and weighed 1,644 pounds.

His latest ping comes from November 3, 2023. During this time, Scot was located near Fourchu Bay. Days prior, Scot had been swimming in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where he spent several days. However, Scot doesn’t spend all of his time in Canada, having been recorded swimming as far south as the Florida Keys.

Great white sharks can travel thousands of miles each year.

3. Betsy

Betsy is a much older addition to OCEARCH’s group of tagged sharks. In fact, she was first tagged on August 13, 2013. With her last ping being recorded on July 22, 2018, the five-year battery in her tracker likely died. However, before her tracker died, Betsy was a massive great white shark off Canada. When she was first tagged, she was a sub-adult, already measuring 12 feet, 7 inches and weighing 1,244 pounds.

Her last ping showed her in Canso Bay off Nova Scotia. Prior to this, she had spent some time further inland, going as far as Cobscook Bay off Leighton Neck. With several years’ worth of data, it is much easier to make inferences about where Betsy may be today. First tagged in Cape Cod, the great white shark seemed to show a preference for that area, not often coming as far north as Canada.

At the time of capture, Betsy was one of the largest female sharks to be caught by OCEARCH off Canada.

4. Ulysses

Great white shark close to the surface showing off its huge mouth and sharp teeth

Great white sharks continue to grow as long as they live, although it is usually not drastic growth.

©Vincent Legrand/Shutterstock.com

Ulysses is one of the larger male sharks in OCEARCH’s program. He was tagged on September 14, 2021, off Ironbound Island, Nova Scotia. At the time of his tagging, Ulysses was a healthy adult who measured 12 feet and 4 inches with a weight of 990 pounds. Unlike many other species of animals, sharks are one species that, despite reaching adulthood, continues to grow. As a result, Ulysses is likely much larger now than he was two years ago. 

Ulysses’ tracker has not reported a ping since October 24, 2022. His latest Z-ping, which occurs when the animal breaks the surface without reporting its location, occurred exactly a year later. However, when he was a year old, his latest ping showed Ulysses off the eastern coast of Breton Island. 

This supersized shark is a common visitor to Canadian waters. Not only was he first tagged off Nova Scotia, but he has since been tracked visiting the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Bay of Fundy.

5. Bluenose

When it comes to male great white sharks, Bluenose isn’t the largest. However, as only a subadult at the time of his tagging, his size proves to show potential to become one of the sharks holding that title. First tagged in 2019 off Luneburg, Bluenose was a sub-adult at the time, measuring 11 feet and 7 inches, with a weight of 789 pounds

6. Rose

one of the largest great white sharks, Carcharodon carcharias, ever observed, a 5.5 meter female named Jumbo, Neptune Islands, South Australia

Great white sharks are some of the largest sharks in the world.

©iStock.com/Alessandro De Maddalena

Rose is no stranger to the waters of Canada. In fact, when she was first tagged back on October 4, 2020, it was as a part of OCEARCH’s Expedition Nova Scotia. Her name comes from Rose Bay, which was near where she was tagged off Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. At the time of her tagging, Rose was a juvenile. However, even at her young age, she measured 10 feet and 5 inches, weighing 600 pounds. Female great white sharks tend to be much larger than males, so Rose’s adulthood will potentially bring about massive changes in her size.

The last ping from Rose shows her in open waters, some miles off of Ram Island in Nova Scotia. This ping is from around ten at night on November 8, 2023. Rose has been in Canadian water for several months now, entering the Jordan Basin outside of the Bay of Fundy in June. 

7. Jane

As an adult at the time of her tagging, Jane is one of the smaller female great white sharks. However, while small in comparison to some of the other supersized sharks on this list, Jane is still a massive specimen. In 2018, when she was tagged off Luneburg, she measured 10 feet in length and weighed around 513 pounds. Her latest ping in 2019 showed her in a location similar to her original tagging, although further from the coast this time.

It is important to keep water moving through the shark’s gills during the tagging process.

8. Simon

According to his tag, Simon’s latest location was Mabou Harbor. However, this shark has spent the last couple of days swimming around the coastal waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Simon was first tagged on December 4, 2022, off St. Simon’s Island in Georgia. It is for this reason that he received his name. At the time of his tagging, this massive white shark was a juvenile. He measured around 9 feet and 6 inches, and he weighed 434 pounds

Because this is Simon’s first year as part of the OCEARCH collection of tracked sharks, not much is known about his activity. He had spent his year swimming north from Georgia, arriving in the waters off Canada’s coast around June 22nd when he entered the Bay of Fundy.

While a juvenile now, as an adult, Simon may grow to be as large as 13 feet long and weigh at least 1,000 pounds.

Simon has recently spent several months near Canada.

9. Monomoy

tagged great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias, swimming in the blue waters of the Neptune Islands, South Australia

Young great white pups eat smaller prey as they grow and develop.

©Alessandro De Maddalena/Shutterstock.com

Monomony is the first juvenile tagged by OCEARCH in the Cape Cod area. His name comes from Monomoy Island, which was near to where he was tagged. This shark was first tagged on August 11, 2020. At this time, Monomoy was a juvenile measuring 6 feet, 11 inches and weighing 267 pounds.

Although his tracker has not sent out a ping since 2021, Monomoy was last located off Newfoundland in July 2021. While it may seem concerning that such a young shark hasn’t had any pings reported in recent years, there are several reasons this can occur. This includes the tracker becoming dislodged or otherwise falling off the shark or even malfunctioning. 

Monomoy’s last ping in Canadian waters was the first time that his tracker had shown him visiting the northern country. Prior to this, he had traveled as far south as Florida in the United States. Given that all is safe and well with Monomy, he is likely much larger now. For the first few years of life, great white sharks can grow as much as 12 inches per year.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Willyam Bradberry/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Megan is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is birds, felines, and sharks. She has been researching and writing about animals for four years, and she holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with minors in biology and professional and technical writing from Wingate University, which she earned in 2022. A resident of North Carolina, Megan is an avid birdwatcher that enjoys spending time with her cats and exploring local zoological parks with her husband.

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