Summer may be the unofficial start to shark season. A gigantic great white shark named Katherine was seen swimming just ten miles away from civilization Sunday. This isn’t the first time the shark has made an appearance on the East coast.
Katherine apparently sent off a satellite ping Sunday from an area 10 miles away from Cobb Island, Virginia, an island part of the Eastern Shore barrier islands located east of the town of Oyster. The Virginia-Pilot reported Sunday that the 14-foot, 2,300-pound shark alerted scientists of its location on Sunday afternoon. She was seen about 80 miles away from Virginia Beach in May.
According to some reports, great whites are the species most often involved in shark attacks on humans. But “Jaws” notwithstanding, great whites may not being attacking humans on purpose but merely taking a nip to test their potential value as food.
The alarm that alerted scientists of Katharine’s location was placed on her when she was captured and identified by a great white shark research and advocacy team called Ocearch. The device is a large satellite tag affixed to her dorsal fin, used to track her movements. When Katharine’s fin reaches the top of the water, a ping notifies a satellite at the research center. She can be tracked in real time online via OCEARCH’s website.
OCEARCH first discovered Katharine looking for food off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and identified her in August 2013 to gather more data concerning migration patterns of sharks via satellite technology.
She was named Katharine as a nod to Katharine Lee Bates, the Cape Cod resident who penned the well-loved song “America the Beautiful.”
Captured four years ago near Cape Cod and studied by scientists, she then weighed 2,300 pounds and was 14 feet, 2 inches in length. It’s likely that she is much bigger now. Scientists last recorded her weight in 2012.
This wasn’t the great…