The tagged great white shark called Lydia crossing the Atlantic ocean may be pregnant, according to experts.

The satellite-tagged shark, which measures 15ft and weighs around 2,000Ib, was spotted 1,000 miles off the coast of Cornwall last week. At the weekend, she crossed the mid-Atlantic ridge, making her the first of her species to swim across the water as it marks a rough boundary between east and west.

The head of the expedition at Ocearch, Chris Fischer, has said Lydia may be pregnant and making her lengthy journey to birthing grounds in the Mediterranean.

She has now turned towards the UK, after she was tracked heading towards northern France at the beginning of this week.

Speaking to BBC News, Chris Fischer, the head of the expedition at Ocearch, said: "If I had to guess, I would guess that Lydia is pregnant, and that she has been out in the open ocean gestating her babies and that this spring she will lead us to where those baby white sharks are born - the nursery."

He added: "If you forced me to guess where that was, I'd say it was over in the Mediterranean, near Turkey... but that's longball I'm playing. She could turn around right now and head back to Florida."

Fischer also said that if Lydia continued towards Europe or Africa, she may become "more coastal".

He said: "If we're going to look after some of these magnificent apex predators - the lions of the oceans - we're all going to have to work together. No one country can do it"

He added: "I certainly think that it's possible for Lydia to make it to the UK."

Although great white sharks have been spotted around the UK previously, Fischer said this was "anecdotal versus a documented presence". The latest research and tracking of Lydia may help to provide concrete evidence.

Last Sunday, the shark crossed the mid-Atlantic ridge. It is often argued these waters are too cold for sharks, yet Lydia is proof this is not true.

Fisher said: "One thing we have learnt just in the last year with sharks in the Atlantic is what we used to think was too cold simply is not.

"Lydia has come over from Nova Scotia [Canada]... These sharks have the capacity to deal with very cold water temperatures for long periods of time."

The shark was tagged off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, in March 2013. It was part of the Ocearch shark project and so far, she has travelled over 19,500 miles to her current location.

The project aims to "generate previously unattainable data on the movement, biology and health of sharks to protect their future while enhancing public safety and education".

Lydia's movement can be tracked here.