Queensland social media shark tracking program launches
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 27 June, 2014 - For the first time, people can follow the travels of satellite-tagged sharks with names such as Rachael, Harriett and Lil’ Fella as they make their way up and down the coast on public tracking website wheresmyshark.com. Researchers have tracked some of the ocean’s top predators travelling thousands of kilometres just off the Queensland coast.
But rather than scare people with the thought of giant sharks lurking just off our coastline, the program is designed to engender a bit of affection for them. There are even plans for people to be able to “adopt” their own shark, such as Rachael, a four-year-old great white about 3m long.
Since being tagged as a juvenile off the Gold Coast three years ago, Rachael has travelled as far south as Victoria before returning to warmer waters. Then there’s Harriett, a 3.5m dusky whaler that covered a “phenomenal” 3200km in 12 months.
Shark scientist Jonathan Werry, of Gold Coast-based Ocean and Coast Research, said the research was critical because sharks were a key barometer of ocean health.
“Sharks are apex predators – the top of the food chain – so they can tell us a lot about pollution, climate change and fish declines,’’ he said.
Amazing footage have been captured by conservationists who swam with an 2.4m tiger shark off Perth to bring it back from near death.