Katharine, the great white shark, has been cruising up and down Florida’s east coast for the past couple of months, and has most recently surfaced off Fort Pierce.
Katharine pinged Monday at about 3:30 p.m.
The group OCEARCH, which tagged Katharine in 2013, is able to track Katharine when her fin breaks the surface of the water long enough for her tracker to signal a location.
Katharine is about 14 feet long and weighs a trim 2,300 pounds.
She is one of three white sharks who have been tracked in Florida waters recently.
Miss Costa, a 12 foot white shark, pinged off Key Largo Jan. 29, while 9-foot George last pinged near St. Augustine on Jan. 18.
Florida is the wintertime stomping grounds for the great white shark.
A combination of the warm Gulf Stream and a narrow continental shelf may make the waters off Palm Beach County a white shark superhighway.
In 2014, Katherine made headlines when a satellite tracker pinned to her dorsal fin pinged all along the Florida coast — Sebastian Inlet, Stuart and Boynton Beach. It turns out she was no rogue.
A study that same year led by National Marine Fisheries shark expert Tobey Curtis compiled a database of 649 confirmed white shark sightings back to the 1800 and found a clear pattern of white sharks wintering off both Florida coasts and through the Carolinas. Summers are spent in New England waters.
George Burgess, a University of Florida shark researcher and keeper of the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History, isn’t sold on the accuracy of the trackers OCEARCH uses.
He said the locations are approximate, and compares it to the so-called “cone of uncertainty” hurricane forecasters use when predicting where a storm will go.
“They are very, very hazy numbers that come in from those tags,” Burgess said. “Even if they came closer to shore, the take home is that we have never had a confirmed shark attack in Florida by a white shark. The risk is minimal to none.”