Katharine The Great White Shark Surfaces Near The Outer Banks, Could Be Heading North

Katharine, one of the world’s most famous great white sharks, has surfaced off the coast of North Carolina, swimming near the Outer Banks as she continues to avoid the shores of Cape Cod.

First tagged by researchers in 2013, Katharine has since gained a devoted following who closely watch her every move, as Fox 8 reports. While the shark is a common presence along the northern reaches of the Eastern Seaboard, having reliably traveled to Cape Cod during previous summers, Katharine has so far opted to remain south this year, swimming off the Outer Banks.

Over the last year, Katharine has spent a great deal of time around North Carolina. Last summer, the shark lingered near Massachusetts late into the season before turning decisively southward in early December. As the Inquisitr previously noted, Katharine first turned up in Pamlico Sound, approaching the mouth of the Pamlico River, much to the surprise of locals. While in previous years the great white rounded the tip of Florida and swam into the Gulf of Mexico, this winter she ceased her southward migration in New Smyrna Beach, turning north once again. Since then, much of Katharine’s time has been spent off the coast of Georgia and the Carolinas.

In the last month, Katharine has signaled most often near the edge of the continental shelf, just off the Outer Banks. On Friday (July 31), the shark was detected northeast of Pamlico Sound, while just a few days prior she had been directly east of Buxton. The dramatic course change could be an indication that Katharine is finally planning to move north, joining her fellow white sharks off the coast of Massachusetts.

The North Carolina coast, meanwhile, has seen a dramatic rise in shark attacks this year, as Outside Magazine reports. Though the area only typically reports one or two incidents annually, eight separate interactions have been reported so far this summer. Some researchers have attributed the incidents to warming currents, which brought the sharks northward earlier in the year than usual (a fact that might also explain why Katharine has decided to remain near the Outer Banks).

While her future course remains uncertain, Katharine is by no means alone off the southern reaches of the east coast. According to Ocearch’s tracker, Mary Lee, a great white shark famous for approaching the New Jersey coastline earlier this year, is currently patrolling near Georgia.

[Image: Ocearch via Twitter]