Shark was measured 17.5 feet in length tagged off WA
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 10 April, 2014 - The tagging of a huge five-metre white pointer in King George Sound has presented a potentially huge breakthrough in shark research and a triumph for local Fisheries staff. The massive female great white, estimated to weigh about 1.6 tonnes, was the biggest ever internally tagged in Australia, and one of the largest in the world.
The shark was measured at 5.04m to the fork in its tail, suggesting an overall length of around 17.5 feet (5.3m). It took three Fisheries staff two-and-a-half hours to subdue the shark, which was hooked close to Mistaken Island in around 15 metres of water on Sunday, March 30.
The same shark had been externally tagged the previous Wednesday when it approached a Fisheries vessel close to Limestone Head, and then set off receivers at Ellen Cove on the following Thursday and Friday, leading to beach closures.
The great white took a salmon bait, culminating in it being fitted with an internal tag to help monitor its movements for up to 10 years. Shark Monitoring Network project manager Mark Kleeman said internally tagging a white pointer of that size was almost unprecedented and a cause for celebration.
"This is very exciting and potentially a world first," he said. "It is something we have been striving for and it is great to prove we can handle an animal of that size.
"The main thing is that tracking larger animals opens up a whole new world. Lots of juveniles have been tagged, but to have a fully-mature female and get 10 years of data out of it is a big thing for us. We are excited by the potential of what this shark can give us."