SOMEWHERE OFF THE COAST OF FLORIDA, Fla. - Katharine, the great white shark being tracked off Florida’s coastline, is communicating from deep in the Atlantic Ocean via Twitter.
OCEARCH attached tagging devices to several sharks for the purposes of shark conservation. The tracking of the shark's navigation is unprecedented. Katharine, named for Katharine Lee Bates who wrote the song “America the Beautiful,” received her tag last August off Cape Cod. The satellite tags were attached to the dorsal fins of the animals. Data can be collected when the sharks pass near the surface of the water.
Katharine, who weighs 2300 pounds, has been swimming near the Treasure Coast of Florida. The OCEARCH website, www.ocearch.org, shows she pinged off the coast of Sebastian then Vero Beach before surfacing near Stuart. Her last ping was recorded Tuesday, but as environmentalists and shark enthusiasts have patiently waited for her next recording, the shark is still communicating with people in South Florida.
Katharine has her own twitter account with the handle @Shark_Katharine. She often uses the hashtags #sharkworld and #ReplaceFearWithFacts.
Katharine responded to tweets from WPTV anchor Ashleigh Walters. Ashleigh asked Katharine when she might “ping” soon, as WPTV viewers were curious to know her wherabouts. Katharine tweeted, “@AshleighWalters @WPTV @OCEARCH as I’ve said before… I’m like @OfficialAdele … I’m “Rollin’ In The Deep”… #sharkworld”
Ashleigh tweeted back with thanks and Katharine responded again, offering to do a live feed. She attached a photo from under the ocean, with humans recording video of a shark in the water. The caption read, “And we’re live in 3.. 2.. 1.. Good afternoon this is shark reporting from Atlantic Ocean.”
Ashleigh asked Katharine what is most misunderstood about sharks. “That I want to eat people. Nothing could be further from the truth #notmyflavor.” She also responded to say, “And that I’m soulless. My eyes may be black and haunting, but I can assure you, I do feel things.”
Katharine is helping scientists and the general public to better understand sharks. Environmentalists and shark enthusiasts have been watching her movements closely. Scientists have taken note of the shark’s movements, noting that she has moved south more quickly than anticipated. @WPTV will be watching to see where Katharine “pings” next.