A team of researchers from the Long Island Shark Collaboration recently tagged the first ever great white shark pup in the Atlantic Ocean. America's east coast is a known hangout for juvenile white sharks – but until now, we didn't fully understand how they used the area.

Once secured, the 4.5 foot (1.3m) female was carefully measured and released, tag in place.

While we know that seeing a hooked shark might rub some viewers the wrong way, it's important to note that the sensory receptors (known as nociceptors) responsible for feeling pain in humans (and other mammals) are not present in the sharks studied to date. And the tag itself – which will eventually come off on its own – was attached to the animal's dorsal fin, a part of the body with no nerve supply.

Of course, sharks are sensitive to fishing stress, and that's why the scientists who tag them perform their workups as quickly and gently as possible. 

"She swam off in great condition," NOAA Fisheries Service's Toby Curtis said in a statement. In addition to the pop-off satellite tag, the shark was equipped with a small ID tag, part of NOAA's Cooperative Shark Tagging Program. This unique tag will enable any anglers or commercial fishermen to alert the team should they spot or catch the shark in the future. 

"This collaborative effort will hopefully start to give us new scientific insights into the activities of the sharks in this region," added Curtis. That information is invaluable for those trying to protect these apex predators.

This pup's tiny teeth aren't suited to taking down large prey, like the seals and sea lions that adult great whites eat. For now, the youngster will be feeding on fish, rays and even other small sharks. 

Aside from the scientists, the shark-tagging team also included students from a local high school, something that marine science teacher Greg Metzger is particularly excited about. "Those students that are directly participating have accomplished a milestone in shark research that can never be taken away from them," he said. 

We'll be keeping an eye out as info from the baby shark's tag starts to pour in – so watch this space for updates!