She's back: Katharine, a great white shark, now swimming off Florida's east coast

A massive female great white shark that was located off Southwest Florida in 2014 has been found again, this time off the east cost of the state.

Katharine, who tips the scales at 2,300 pounds, is one of dozens of sharks that have been tagged and tracked by OCEARCH, a collective of marine biologist who follow sharks and reports their findings to other scientists and the public.

At 14-feet, 2-inches, she swam into the Gulf of Mexico — an area that's not associated with high great white traffic — in May of 2014.

Her tag sent a signal Sunday, and she's now swimming between West Palm Beach and the Bahamas.

In 2014, Katharine meandered around the Gulf for a few weeks before leaving the waters offshore of Sarasota for the Bahamas. Her path is traced on the OCEARCH website and shows a path that runs through the coastal Naples area.

Katharine is sexually mature, and scientists hope she will one day lead them to great white breeding grounds. Scientists know very little about the reproductive stage of great whites.

The tags used to track the sharks send a signal when their dorsal fins break the surface, so the "travel path" of the sharks is dependent upon how often the shark surfaces.

Katharine's tag has "pinged" along beaches on the east coast, from Miami to Massachusetts.

OCEARCH also tracks large species like tiger and bull sharks.

Connect with this reporter: Chad Gillis on Twitter.

USA TODAY


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