Great white shark tagging effort could take more than a year

SHARK experts from the Department of Primary Industries and the CSIRO a will tomorrow commence efforts to locate and tag great white sharks on the Northern Rivers coast.

The tagging exercise was part of an effort to make sense of the recent spate of sightings and attacks in the region.

However, despite what concerned locals might hope, experts say the project was no quick fix.

Barry Bruce from the CSIRO with the tags to be implanted in local great white sharks.
Barry Bruce from the CSIRO with the tags to be implanted in local great white sharks.

In fact the project, for which $250,000 has so far been allocated by the state government, could go for more than a year, DPI shark expert Dr Vic Peddemors said.

Dr Peddemors and CSIRO white shark tagging coordinator Barry Bruce spoke to assembled media this morning at Ballina's Lighthouse Beach.

The initial bait and tag operation was expected to take up to two weeks and would involve a locally-contracted aerial spotting helicopter and two DPI vessels.

The operation would bait the sharks with an inflatable boat capable of roaming the surf zone before luring the predators towards a larger offshore vessel with a harness and tagging implements.

Sharks would be tagged with a satellite tag in its dorsal fin and an acoustic tag near its belly, the experts said.

The information would be used to provide movement patterns of the sharks but would not transmit in real time.


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