NSW State Government scientists are another step closer to unlocking the mysterious underwater world of Sydney’s sharks following the successful tagging of three bull sharks in Sydney Harbour, NSW Primary Industries Minister Steve Whan said today.
“This week has proved a highly successful one with three male bull sharks caught, tagged with internal acoustic tags and safely released,” Whan said.
“Our team of Industry & Investment NSW (I&I NSW) shark experts have been fishing the waters of Sydney Harbour several nights a week for months in an effort to locate and tag sharks swimming within their Sydney Harbour habitat.
“A 2.76 metre bull shark was tagged west of the Harbour Bridge on Thursday 21 January, another 2.57 metre bull shark was tagged on the same night and a third 2.35 metre bull shark was tagged in the Parramatta River on Sunday 24 January.
“They are now being monitored by a network of 45 acoustic listening stations within the Harbour.”
The Sydney Harbour Shark tagging research project forms part of the NSW Government’s wider scientific guidelines for minimising the risk of shark attack.
Each tag has its own unique ID code and a transmitting life of ten years which can be detected by the network of acoustic listening stations deployed throughout Sydney Harbour and along the coast of NSW.
Records of the sharks’ movements will be downloaded from listening stations in autumn.
I&I NSW shark scientist Dr Amy Smoothey said the tags register the migratory paths and natural movements of the animals to determine if there are any potentially dangerous areas in Sydney Harbour.
“The public should not be alarmed at the presence of bull sharks in the Harbour, the fact of the matter is the Harbour is their domain and sharks have been frequenting harbour waters long before bathers,” Dr Smoothey said.
“Contrary to popular belief shark numbers are not on the rise in NSW, they continue to be commercially fished and as such numbers are actually on the decline.”
The Sydney Harbour program is part of a wider research project of movement and habitat use of sharks along the NSW coast.
More information can be found at: www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries/info/sharksmart