Four great white sharks were tracked swimming nearby some of the most popular surf beaches in New South Wales, Australia. They were tagged during the NSW government’s smart drum line trial as part of its Shark Management Strategy to curb the number of attacks on surfers and swimmers last summer.
Data analysis reveals that one female great white shark measured nearly three meters long, cruising more than 300 kilometers within just a week. Researchers believe that the shark is most likely hunting for food or a partner.
It was last tracked at Nambucca Heads, Mid North Coast of New South Wales after swimming 309 kilometers down to South West Rocks. The latest tracking technology also showed another female, measuring 2.35 meters long, and traveling about 37 kilometers close to where it was tagged.
Two male great white sharks, as long as 2.8 meters and 2.45 meters, were also detected relatively close to where they were tagged. One male completed the journey of 55 kilometers and the other completed about 27 kilometers.
Locating these sharks marks the first success of employing satellite and acoustic tags. These animals were tagged and released by the NSW Department of Primary Industries off Evans Head, on NSW’s far north coast.
They are tracked through VR4G listening stations along the coast. Their locations are automatically broadcast on @NSWSharkSmart, the Department of Primary Industries’ Twitter account, as well as the SharkSmart app.
The NSW government allocated about $16 million to its Shark Management Strategy. According to Niall Blair, Minister of Primary Industries, these data are crucial to pointing out ways that can reduce the fatality from shark attacks.
“It is this type of information we have been so keen to get our hands on,” Blair told The Daily Telegraph. “The more information we have about how these sharks are moving, the better we can tailor how we reduce the risk of shark attacks.”
While the technology shows a lot of promise, the minister asserts that it is just one of the methods that can be used to alleviate the problem.
“We are investigating in a range of measures to reduce the risk of shark attacks in NSW – because there is not one solution,” adds Blair.