Great White Shark Tracked in Australia

10 Aug 2016

A nearly 3m long great white shark is one of many man-eating species you will find at some of the most popular New South Wales surf beaches.

GPS tracking  data shows a female great white shark swam over 300km within a week since a GPS tracker was fitted on her on the far north coast of the state. According to experts, she was probably looking for a partner or hunting for food as she was swimming up and down the coast.

During a ‘smart’ drum line trial which was conducted as part of the New South Wales government’s $16 million Shark Management Strategy, she was just 1 of 4 other great white sharks that were tagged following a number of attacks last summer on surfers.

These sharks were fitted with the technology and released on the NSW far north coast just off Evans Head, after they were hooked on drum lines right off the beaches.

Their movements are being tracked by scientists to get an idea of the behavior of great whites. The last time they saw the big female shark was at Nambucca Heads which was 182km from where she was released. She had travelled down to South West Rocks approximately 309km.

Another 2.35m female shark travelled only around 37km which is fairly close to where she had been tagged. The tagged male sharks which measured around 2.45m and 2.8m also stay in the area they were fitted with GPS tracking technology having travelled only 27km and 55km respectively.

Scientists from the NSW Department of Primary Industries tagged the sharks successfully with both acoustic and satellite tags.

Niall Blair, Primary Industries Minister, said while some sharks stayed near the coast, others were traveling unbelievable distances in a brief period of time. He says this is the information they have been looking for and the more data they are able to get on the movements of the sharks, the easier it will be to come up with a plan to reduce shark attack risks.

According to Amy McLuckie, a marine biologist from Sealife Sydney Aquarium, great white sharks are able to swim hundreds of kilometers in just a day figuring they could be trying to find mates, give birth or follow the seasonal migration.

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