Scientists have revealed that a 2,300 pound Great White Shark that was tagged last year in Cape Cod, Massachusetts has traveled the length of the eastern seaboard, around Florida, and into the Gulf of Mexico and is now trending towards the gulf shores of Texas.
The great white shark, who has been named Katherine, was tagged last August in New England, and the latest "ping" went off Tuesday morning, giving researchers her location. On Sunday, the massive great white was 140 miles west of Sarasota, Florida, and her current trajectory puts her at the mouth of the Mississippi river within the week and will then eventually reach Texas.
The tag is programmed to send a message, or a "ping," each time the great white is close to the surface of the water. The research group, OCEARCH, even makes following the great white available to the public via a website. Katherine was one of two great whites tagged last year. The other, named Betsy, is a 13 foot, 1,400 hundred pound great white that was also tagged, but Betsy seems to be sticking around the Florida beaches while her swim mate heads toward the Lone Star State.
The great white's sojourn into the Gulf of Mexico is rare, at least for this time of year when the water temperatures are warmer.
"Every track is giving us new information and going contrary to all the assumptions that we were going on," says Dr. Robert Hueter, director of the center for shark research at Mote Marine Laboratory."Having them in the Gulf is something we thought happened in the winter time."This is one of the rare times that the great fish has been tracked each step of the way. The tags, which are designed to last up to five years, give researchers incredible insight to he migratory patterns of the great white shark.
Last week it was revealed that a great white shark, or what was left of one of the mighty predators, was found in southern Australia years ago and researchers believe that a "super predator" attacked and swallowed the fish whole. All of this great white shark news comes as the summer beach season is winding up towards the popular Fourth of July holiday. And according to OCEARCH and their tags, residents in the Texas coastal cities should be extra cautious this year while swimming in the Gulf, as Katherine is on her way and by all accounts, she's a big one.