Katharine, the massive great white shark, reappears after 18-month hiatus

Last week, we brought you good news from the West Coast as marine biologists reported a record number of white sharks swimming in southern California’s waters. This time around, we’re bringing you good news from the East Coast after a beloved great white shark by the name Katharine resurfaced following a long hiatus.

Katherine is a massive 14ft-plus great white shark with a Twitter following, and the transmitter attached to her dorsal fin had not sent out a definitive message for a year and a half—the transmitters are designed to send out a message every time the shark comes up to the surface of the water. But recently, Katharine’s transmitter started multiples in one day, confirming that she is alive and well.

The data gathered from trackers such as the one attached to Katharine’s dorsal fin is extremely useful for marine biologists, who use it to map out the movement of Atlantic great white sharks and understand the sometimes mysterious behavior of these stunning predators.

“Her tracks over the past seven years up and down the coast from Cape Cod to Florida and with long forays to the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and the offshore Atlantic, may cover the movements of two or three cycles of pregnancy and birth of her pups,” said Dr. Bryan Franks of Jacksonville University. “She has already provided an incredible dataset with more than 1,700 locations, covering 37,000 miles of the ocean since the day she was tagged. It will be fascinating to see where her next moves may be.”

Image source: Dave J. Hogan

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