The NSW Government’s shark tagging program is now estimated to be the largest in the world.
Tracking sharks is helping NSW DPI scientists to determine their movement patterns and increase our knowledge of shark behaviour.
Research shows that some White Sharks travel tens of thousands of kilometres, some moving across the Bight to Western Australia, others to Tasmania and New Zealand.
Sharks on the move
Check out the latest video showing the movements of sharks tagged in NSW
The Department of Primary Industries’ shark tagging project is mainly carried out using SMART drumlines.
DPI scientists fit both externally fin-mounted satellite tags and surgically inserted acoustic tags to White and Tiger sharks, and internal acoustic tags to Bull Sharks. This enables scientists to register the natural movements of the sharks to determine the environmental and biological factors affecting their distribution in coastal waters.
Sharks tagged by DPI contractors during SMART drumline trials are fitted with external acoustic and identification tags. All acoustically tagged sharks can then be detected on the network of 21 real-time listening stations on the NSW coast that are located from Tweed Heads to Merimbula. When a shark swims within 500 metres of one of the listening stations, an instant alert is sent to the SharkSmart app and Twitter feed @NSWSharkSmart. Beachgoers can download the app and set it to receive tagged shark alerts at certain times and locations. DPI is collating more than 34,000 alerts from those listening stations to create interactive maps of our tagged sharks.
The table below includes sharks that have been fitted with a satellite tag by our DPI scientists. When the shark breaks the surface of the water for long enough to be received by a passing satellite, the tag 'pings' the shark location via GPS.
It is not unusual for some sharks to not 'ping' for some time. Interestingly, there have been sharks that have travelled thousands of kilometres before we receive a ‘ping’. One shark travelled from NSW to New Zealand before DPI received its location.
Click on the name of each satellite tagged shark to go to the Wildlife Tracking website for maps and more information.