Shark research non-profit OCEARCH has been in the news a lot lately. It has democratized Great Whites, so to speak, tagging 128 sharks since 2012, giving them lovely human names and us a way to track them. Now there’s an app. They even have Twitter handles and tons of followers.
Now that it’s officially summer, we’re seeing them kicking around our favorite beaches. But just who are these majestic ladies? Here's the definitive list of our favorite Great Whites so you can get to know these ferocious females a little better—in case they come in range.
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Species: Great White Twitter:@Shark_Katharine Katharine is something of a celebrity. Since she was tagged off of Cape Cod in 2013, she's logged 14,000 miles, bedeviling scientists tracking her migration. If you’re hitting the beaches of Northeast Florida this summer, keep an eye out for this 14-foot, 2,300-pound beauty. Kath loves her Twitter. The “misunderstood but sassy girl just tryin’ to get some fish” has almost 26,000 followers. Fun fact: she was named after Katharine Lee Bates, who wrote “America the Beautiful!"
Species: Great White Twitter:@SharkBetsy At 12 feet and 1,400 pounds, Betsy is currently summering in the Gulf off Tampa. She’s still young, but she's been places. She can’t resist the East Coast and has been known to frequent the Delmarva area. She really digs the waters off Cape Hatteras, Rehoboth Beach in Delaware, and Cape May in Jersey. She likes to tweet at Katharine.
Species: Great White Twitter:@MaryLeeShark Oh, Mary Lee. The baddest of them all. Once called the “Taylor Swift of Sharks,” she’s named after OCEARCH president Chris Fischer’s mother. “I was waiting and waiting for a special shark to name after her,” he said. At a whopping 16 feet and 3,456 pounds, Mary Lee is in the prime of her life. But she could be 20 or 40, nobody knows. She’s currently right off the beach in Avalon, if you’re lucky enough to be on the Jersey Shore. Catch her quickly, though, as she moves around quite a bit; she peppered the map with pings and now it looks like a cup of Dippin’ Dots. Right now, she’s heading north towards the Cape to fill up on seals.
Species: Great White Twitter:@GenieTheShark Genie is way out there, somewhere along the continental shelf off the Carolinas. We don’t even know what she’s doing! She’s been known to swim back and forth along the East Coast from Jacksonville to Cape Cod. She’s reached maturity and is about the size of Katharine. Genie’s real name is Eugenie, after Eugenie Clark, the famous ichthyologist known as “the Shark Lady.” She’s new to Twitter, and only has 510 followers. In her profile she says she’s “just your average shark lurking the waters of the East Coast of the U.S…” She recently tweeted at @MaryLeeShark looking to meet up, but isn’t so sure about that warm water.
Species: Tiger Shark Twitter: N/A We haven’t heard from Septima in awhile. She’s kind of a flake. A 1,000 pound Tiger shark and a Jersey girl at heart, Septima was tagged off South Carolina and last checked in off North Carolina in September.
Species: Great White Twitter: @LydiatheShark1 A trans-Atlantic jetsetter (she went to Ireland for St. Paddy’s Day and became the first Great White to be tracked crossing the Atlantic), Lydia is currently over it and back in the Bahamas.
Remember, shark conservation is an important cause. Sharks are beautiful and vital predators worthy of our respect. Be safe out there, guys. Happy Summer!