Shark Attack Australia
Researchers examine and dissect a Great White Shark that washed up on Goosewing Beach in Little Compton, Rhode Island September 1, 2012. Reuters/Scott Eisen

Even after the state government launched Australia’s $16 million Shark Management Strategy to tackle fatal shark attacks on swimmers and surfers, four great white sharks have been spotted travelling very close to New South Wales’ (NSW) most-popular surf beaches. The sharks were tagged during government’s smart drum line trial.

As per reports, one of the sharks, a female, measured almost three metres and it travelled almost 300kms in just a week’s time. The data was provided by the new monitoring technology installed as part of the Shark Management Strategy.

The female shark was last tracked at Nambucca Heads after travelling 309kms down to South West Rocks. As the shark is moving up and down the coast, scientists believe that it is either hunting for food or looking for a partner. Another two male sharks and one female shark remained very close to where there were tagged. These measured between 2.35m and 2.8m and completed journeys of 55kms, 27kms and 37kms respectively.

“It is this type of information we have been so keen to get our hands on. The more information we have about how these sharks are moving, the better we can tailor how we reduce the risk of shark attacks. We are investing in a range of measures to reduce the risk of shark attacks in NSW — because there is not one solution,” Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair told The Daily Telegraph.

In its first successful use of new technology, NSW Department of Primary Industries scientists tagged the sharks with both satellite and acoustic tags. Sealife Sydney Aquarium marine biologist Amy McLuckie said that very little is known about migration of great white sharks. Sometimes pregnant females travel to certain areas to give birth. The sharks can also be following seasonal migration of fish.

VR4G listening stations have been positioned strategically up the coast so that tagged shark detection can be broadcasted automatically via the DPI Twitter account @NSWSharkSmart and also on the SharkSmart app.