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Pop-up archival transmitting tags

Pop-up archival transmitting (PAT) tags collect data that is used by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s (DPIRD) research scientists to examine broad scale shark movement. 

DPIRD researchers attach the PAT tag near the base of the first dorsal fin using an external tether. These tags are generally programmed to remain on the shark for 6 -12 months before releasing and floating to the surface at a predetermined time.

PAT tags collect water depth, temperature and light data that is then transmitted via satellite after detaching from the shark.

This information allows scientists to broadly estimate a shark’s movements from the time a shark is tagged until the tag releases. Additional, more in-depth data can be acquired from collecting the physical tag.

PAT tags are not designed or intended to provide a real-time satellite-track of a shark. Tags that use satellites to determine a shark’s position cannot reliably provide the level of accuracy required for fine-scale tracking, as transmission of position is limited to when the shark’s dorsal fin breaks the surface.

If you find a PAT tag while down at the beach, email the Shark Response Unit at sharksmart@dpird.wa.gov.au 

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