One-Ton Shark On Its Way To TexasBy: Ellisha Rader Mannering - June 18, 2014
Beachgoers beware, a huge one-ton shark is making its way to Texas.
The giant great white shark is 14 feet long and weighs 2,300 pounds.
It was recently spotted 100 miles off the Florida coast in the Gulf of Mexico and is now making its way towards Texas.
The shark is being tracked with a tagging system that allows scientists to catch, tag and release great white sharks.
The scientists can then follow the sharks and learn more about them.
The tagging system also works as a warning system and allows scientists to alert certain beaches if a large shark is coming near them.
Every time a tagged shark surfaces, the tag sends back its GPS coordinates and scientists map it. Some of the sharks that are tagged have already traveled 1,400 miles.
The giant shark headed to Texas is named Katherine and she was first tagged off Massachusetts’ Cape Cod.
“Every track is giving us new information and going contrary to all the assumptions that we were going on,” Dr. Robert Heuter, director of Mote Marine Laboratory’s center for shark research, said. “Having (sharks) in the Gulf is something we thought happened in the wintertime.”
As Katherine gets closer to Texas, scientists will keep a close eye on her to make sure she is not headed too close to any popular beach destinations.
Earlier this month, several Alabama beaches had to be evacuated after a huge swarm of sharks gathered in the nearby waters. The sharks were feeding on a sturgeon carcass and left within a couple of days.
Katherine will likely linger in the waters around Texas for a few days and then venture back up the eastern coast. The tracking program has revealed that some sharks prefer to travel great distances and others stay in the same small areas for most of their lives.
Would you swim in the ocean knowing Katherine the shark was lurking nearby?
Image via Wikimedia Commons