The Largest Great White Sharks Ever Found Off Delaware Waters

Written by Nixza Gonzalez
Updated: September 7, 2023
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Great white sharks are fascinating animals. They are apex predators with unique behaviors. There is still a lot of information scientists and searchers don’t know about great whites. These massive sharks are typically found off the coast of North and South Carolina. However, they are heavy migrators and travel thousands of miles every year. Although more common off the coast of the southeastern United States, you can still spot great white sharks near Delaware.

Follow along to discover the largest great white sharks ever found off Delaware waters.

Infographic of the Largest Great White Shark Found Off Delaware
Most great whites off the Delaware coast are migrating north or south and rarely stay in the area for long.

About Great White Sharks

Great white sharks, also known as white sharks, are massive apex predators with torpedo-like bodies. They are fast swimmers and live in temperate and subtropical seas worldwide. Great white sharks are one of the largest shark species in the world. At birth, they are about 4 feet long. On average, white sharks reach about 15 feet long but can grow up to 20 feet. They live for about 70 years or more. Despite their fearsome reputation and large size, white sharks are slow-growing animals. Males don’t mature until they are about 26 years old, while great white females mature at 33.

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great white shark

On average, great white sharks reach about 15 feet long but can grow up to 20 feet.

©Ramon Carretero/

Are There Great White Sharks Off the Coast of Delaware?

Although you may find a great white shark or two near Delaware, they aren’t common. Most great whites in the area are migrating north or south. They rarely stay for long. Still, you might be lucky enough to see one while visiting a beach in Delaware. As amazing as this experience is, never interact with a great white in the water. Great white sharks aren’t overly aggressive and they don’t hunt for humans, but attacks can happen.

Common Sharks in Delaware Waters

Although great white sharks aren’t very common in Delaware, some species are including sandbar, spiny dogfish, sand tiger, smooth dogfish, and Atlantic shortfin mako sharks. Still, the Atlantic Ocean is home to more than 12 shark species. Atlantic spiny dogfish are slim and small sharks. They reach up to 4 feet long. Scientists estimate spicy dogfish live for up to 40 years.

Atlantic shortfin mako sharks grow up to 13 feet long. They have pointed snouts and white undersides. Mako sharks are very fast swimmers. They are also aggressive predators with few predators of their own.

Spiny dogfish shark Deep - 15 meters Japan sea Russia

Spiny dogfish grow up to 4 feet long.

©Boris Pamikov/

The Largest Great White Sharks Ever Found Off Delaware Waters

While great white sharks aren’t the most common shark species off the coast of Delaware, you can still find a few. One of the best ways to track great whites on the east coast of the United States is by using the OCEARCH Shark Tracker. The sharks listed below were tracked on OCEARCH’s program. Scientists and researchers find great whites and other shark species on expeditions and catch, tag, and release them. Then, they record valuable data and information like their GPS location and how many miles they travel. Continue reading to discover the largest great whites found off Delaware waters.

Betsy (12 Feet and 7 Inches)

Betsy was one of the largest white sharks recorded off the coast of Delaware. She was 12 feet and 7 inches. At the time of tagging, she weighed about 1,400 pounds. The last time the GPS pinged this large great white in Delaware was on November 21, 2014. She was heading south near Rehoboth Beach and Delaware Seashore State Park. Although Betsy was only spotted momentarily in Delaware, she spent near Dewey Beach. Betsy’s tracker mainly pinged off the coast of Florida.

Yeti (11 Feet and 1 Inch)

Yeti is another large great white pinged off the coast of Delaware. Although she doesn’t weigh as much as Betsy, her size is still impressive. Yeti is an 11-foot-1-inch female great white sub-adult. At the time of tagging, she weighed 870 pounds. Researchers caught and tagged her in Nantucket, Massachusetts on October 7, 2016. In 1,467 days, Yeti has traveled about 4,908 miles. Her GPS tracker last pinged her on December 2, 2018, near Delaware Beach. She was also near Delaware Beach on November 16, 2016.

Gratitude (5 Feet and 4 Inches)

Last but not least is Gratitude, a young 5-foot 4-inch great white. At the time of tagging, she weighed 90 pounds. Researchers tagged her on August 23, 2016, in Montauk, New York. According to the shark tracker, Gratitude has spent most of her time off the coast of Virginia, Delaware, and New York. She was pinned in Delaware on November 19, 2017. However, her last Z-ping was on July 30, 2021, at 9:01 PM.  

Where Is Delaware Located on a Map?

The state of Delaware is in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Pennsylvania is to Delaware’s north, Maryland is to its south and west, while New Jersey is to its northeast, and the Atlantic Ocean lies to its east.

Delaware is the second-smallest state and the sixth-most densely populated in the U.S. The largest city is Wilmington and the state capital is Dover. The state has three counties: New Castle, Kent, and Sussex.

The photo featured at the top of this post is ©

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About the Author

Nixza Gonzalez is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering topics like travel, geography, plants, and marine animals. She has over six years of experience as a content writer and holds an Associate of Arts Degree. A resident of Florida, Nixza loves spending time outdoors exploring state parks and tending to her container garden.

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