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Tagged white shark 'Rachael' makes waves across three states

'Rachael' Queensland's first satellite tagged great white shark, is making waves travelling coastlines of three states in less than three months.

Fisheries Minister Craig Wallace said satellite transmissions show 'Rachael' has travelled to Victoria south west of Mallacoota and is now back in New South Wales waters.

"Our shark researchers have been getting lots of 'hits' from Rachael, with the most recent this week in southern News South Wales," Mr Wallace said.

"This government funded research is about understanding where along the coastline dangerous shark species like to visit, how long they stay, and how often they go there.

"By tagging dangerous species like bull, tiger, white and dusky whaler sharks, we can use the research to improve our shark control programs and better protect bathers.

"So far, Rachael's movements start from Narrowneck on the Gold Coast where she was tagged in June, to south of Byron Bay, then south of Evans Head, and Nowra last month, before being detected off Eden and Mallacoota despite large swell offshore.

Head scientist on the Queensland Large Shark Tagging Program, Dr Jonathan Werry, said a total of 49 large sharks are being tracked using either acoustic or satellite tags.

"Acoustic tags are fitted to the sharks' dorsal fins and work by sending a series of 'pings' under water to be picked up by the receivers," Dr Werry said.

"Each shark has a unique signal.

"Sharks fitted with satellite tags are being monitored via satellite transmission each time they surface."

Dr Werry said the target species in the program all had very different migratory patterns.

"Great whites generally move from Victoria all the way up the Queensland coast, across to New Zealand and up into the bottom of New Caledonia.

"Tiger sharks can also migrate up to thousands of kilometres, but we're still learning more about their patterns over these distances.

"Bull sharks travel a lot less and rely on river habitats as nursery grounds," he said.

Mr Wallace said the tagging technology also tracks the movement of sharks into rivers and canals, which will help to address bather safety in these areas.

"Bather safety is our number-one priority in Queensland and this project will improve our knowledge of shark movements for inshore waters."

Shark control equipment is in place off 85 Queensland beaches.

For the full list of bather safety tips and information on the Shark Control Program, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au

Main Roads, Fisheries and Marine Infrastructure
The Honourable Craig Wallace
28/08/2011
Tagged white shark 'Rachael' makes waves across three states

Permanent Link: Tagged white shark 'Rachael' makes waves across three states
Publish Date: 28 Aug 11

Queensland Government, Primary Industries and Fisheries :
PO Box 15168, City East, Qld, 4002, Brisbane
Phone: 07 3404 6999
Non-fixed: 13 25 23

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