Satellite tracking technology to shed light on shark behaviour

Jul 21, 2008

A University of Queensland (UQ) marine biologist will use satellite technology to track tiger sharks as part of a project to better understand the greatly feared sea dwellers and prevent future attacks on bathers.

UQ PhD student Bonnie Holmes said the lack of knowledge about tiger sharks and their decreasing numbers in South-East Queensland motivated her to focus her research on the large ocean predator and that sponsorship was needed to commence her fieldwork in September.

"This information will be very valuable to the community because limited knowledge exists about tiger shark migratory patterns, preferred areas to hunt or breed in, or how they are impacted by humans," Ms Holmes said.

"They're thought of as mindless killers, but I want to show what lies behind their behaviour and why they are important to the Australian ecosystem."

Ms Holmes will attach satellite tags to tiger sharks of different ages, gender and size to gain information about their migration, feeding and mating patterns under varying conditions and circumstances.

The research is the first of its kind in southern Queensland and will be conducted between Kingscliff in northern New South Wales and the Town of 1770 in Queensland.

While the use of satellite tags will provide essential shark tracking data, industry support is required to sustain the project over its three-year lifespan.

Satellite tags will cost between $1700 and $3500 each with current research partners including the Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries, and the Queensland Wildlife Preservation Society.

Ms Holmes plans to monitor at least 30 tiger sharks and collect data via the satellite tracking tags that transmit information each time the shark surfaces.

"I'm planning one four day field trip each month during winter and two each month in summer when there appears to be more tiger sharks in SEQ waters," she said.

If you would like to make a contribution, get involved or find out more about the research please contact Bonnie on the details below.

Provided by University of Queensland

Explore further: Rare new species of plant: Stachys caroliniana

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA issues 'remastered' view of Jupiter's moon Europa

6 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Scientists have produced a new version of what is perhaps NASA's best view of Jupiter's ice-covered moon, Europa. The mosaic of color images was obtained in the late 1990s by NASA's Galileo ...

Dish restores Turner channels to lineup

6 hours ago

Turner Broadcasting channels such as Cartoon Network and CNN are back on the Dish network after being dropped from the satellite TV provider's lineup during contract talks.

LiquidPiston unveils quiet X Mini engine prototype

11 hours ago

LiquidPiston has a new X Mini engine which is a small 70 cubic centimeter gasoline powered "prototype. This is a quiet, four-stroke engine with near-zero vibration. The company said it can bring improvements ...

Recommended for you

Rare new species of plant: Stachys caroliniana

Nov 21, 2014

The exclusive club of explorers who have discovered a rare new species of life isn't restricted to globetrotters traveling to remote locations like the Amazon rainforests, Madagascar or the woodlands of the ...

Mysterious glowworm found in Peruvian rainforest

Nov 21, 2014

(Phys.org) —Wildlife photographer Jeff Cremer has discovered what appears to be a new type of bioluminescent larvae. He told members of the press recently that he was walking near a camp in the Peruvian ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.