A Great White Shark is now in the Gulf of Mexico, and environmentalists tracking its movement couldn't be happier, 1200 WOAI's Berit Mason reports.
The 14 foot long female shark named Katherine, has been outfitted with a GPS tracking device by the non profit Ocearch, which has been tracking her progress on line.
Ocearch's Chris Fisher says Katherine's movements are being closely watched, because this is the first time ever that the movements of a Great White have been openly tracked.
"We don't understand their movements, so for the first time in history we are solving those puzzles and we are doing it in a completely open source way," Fisher says. "So this way the entire public can follow the shark's movements along with our scientists."
Ocearch tagged two Great Whites off Cape Cod last August. The other shark, named Betsy, is now off the west coast of Florida.
"Sharks are the lions of the ocean, they keep everything in balance," Fisher said.
Katherine has now traveled more than 5,000 miles since she was tagged ten months ago, far further than scientists thought Great Whites roamed.
Fisher says the research project is providing unprecedented insight into the activities of these huge and largely misunderstood ocean predators.
He says the GPS tag on Katharine will last for as long as five years. It 'pings' every time she comes to the surface, so scientists can track everything from her movements to her speed and her habits.