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Science & Research

The Western Australian Government's shark mitigation strategy has a strong evidence based focus, backed by science. The Government has supported a variety of research projects and initiatives to enhance our understanding of shark biology and ecology to better inform our government policies. 

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Shark Tagging

Shark Tagging

06 November 2013

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) has a dedicated shark tagging program to support the Shark Monitoring Network and the department’s shark research.

DPIRD’s tagging operations are focused on white and bull sharks to provide important public safety information and to gather research data on broad scale movement. 

Tagging operations are tailored to suit the shark species.

In Western Australia, our researchers have had the most success tagging white sharks when they have been found around known attractants, such as whale carcasses and schooling fish. Tagging operations generally occur off the Perth metropolitan area and along the south-west and south coast. 

Bull shark tagging operations are focused in the Swan Canning Estuary from late spring to autumn and in regional areas at other times of the year. 

During the tagging process, a genetic sample is taken and details about the shark such as species, sex, length are recorded. 

All sharks are fitted with three tags. 

  1. Acoustic tags may trigger a near real-time alert through one of the Shark Monitoring Network receivers. 
  2. Pop-up archival transmitting (PAT) tags collect and store data on water depth, temperature and broad scale location data to learn more about shark movement.
  3. An identification tag is attached to the shark’s first dorsal fin. This is a visual record that the shark has been internally tagged. 

Learn about the process of tagging a white shark in the video below. 

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