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Keeping tabs on our coastline and listening for sharks

A rascally bull shark was out an about on the weekend - first reported on Saturday via SharkSmart as it came in range of the Shark Listening Station or VR4G Buoy at Malua Bay it returned again on Sunday at 9:00am and then later on in the morning.

Photo courtesy of About Regional

The Shark Listening Station or VR4G Buoy picks up tagged sharks - how are they tagged?

The Department of Primary Industries’ shark tagging project is done predominately by SMART drumlines. Hooks baited with mullet are deployed into the ocean. SMART drumlines comprise of an anchor and rope, two buoys, and a satellite-linked communications unit which is attached to a trace and baited hook.

When a shark is hooked, the pressure on the line triggers the communications unit which alerts DPI scientists or contractors via phone call, email and text message to the presence of an animal on the line. The team then responds immediately to the SMART drumline alert to manage the animal.

Where possible, both externally fin-mounted satellite tags and surgically inserted acoustic tags are fitted to the shark. This enables scientists to register the natural movements of the sharks to determine the environmental and biological factors affecting their distribution in coastal waters.

From then on every time they come in range of a detector an alert is sent to SharkSmart

They currently monitor more than 860 acoustically tagged sharks – including 258 white sharks. Of these tagged sharks, more than 465 bronze, tiger and white sharks may trigger a real time response through our satellite-linked (VR4G) receiver network

There, doesn't that make you feel safer knowing that they only have to tag another estimated 13,800

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