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2,300-lb. great white shark found along Volusia coastline

Nonprofit research group OCEARCH tagged the female shark in August in Cape Cod and have been tracking its journey to central Florida ever since. (WFTV)
Nonprofit research group OCEARCH tagged the female shark in August in Cape Cod and have been tracking its journey to central Florida ever since. (WFTV)
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Updated: 12/31/2013 11:44 am
VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. (WFTV) -- A 14-foot, 2,300-pound great white shark has been found swimming along Volusia County's coastline.

Nonprofit research group OCEARCH tagged the female shark in August in Cape Cod and have been tracking its journey to central Florida ever since.

OCEARCH said it's trying to track the sharks because the larger sharks bring balance to the ecosystem and are reducing in numbers.

The group has named the shark Katharine.

"She is the furthest down the coast of Florida that we've ever tracked a shark and she still seems to be moving with a purpose to the south," said OSEARCH expedition leader Chris Fischer. "When we began this project, I had no idea how much time it was going to be focusing the light on the southeastern United States and northeastern Florida."

Researchers told Channel 9 they estimate Katharine was between a mile and 3 miles from Daytona Beach.

They said she is not a concern to beachgoers, but the crew did alert local authorities as a precaution.

"It's always good to look at the tracker, see how they're moving around just to kind of understand the rhythm of their lives, but it's more dangerous to drive down the beach and hang out in the parking lot than to jump in the water," said Fischer.

Researchers are still learning exactly why Katharine and other great whites are traveling to Florida. Food may be one reason, but the crew said they are hoping to unlock the mystery of where the sharks breed and give birth.
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