Marina’s Tagging – The Final Chapter

Photo of Marina getting tagged

Marina getting tagged

In February 2011, we reported on the successful tagging of Marina, a 2.4m TL female, in the Manukau harbour.  She was tagged with both a SPOT and PAT tag, and was the first white shark successfully tagged in the Manukau.  We were able to follow her for approximately 2 months as she made her way north, but she was staying so close to the surface, after 2 months she had flattened the battery on the SPOT tag! So, we just had to hope the PAT tag would continue to work.  The PAT tag was set to come off 12 months after deployment, and we hoped she would be close to the location she was tagged so recovery of the tag would be possible.  The tag actually came off up at the Sunshine Coast, Queensland near Barwon Bank  in the end, and was taken by tidal currents over to its final resting place where it was recovered from the dunes at Little Freshwater near Double Island Point – a frustrating situation for DOC as recovery is based on the kind will of anyone that stumbles across it.

Thankfully, a kind person did stumble across it. We found out this month that the tag was picked up and sent back to DOC.  At present the tag is in quarantine at NZ Biosecurity – standard practice to ensure no nonnative pathogens hitch a ride to our shores.  We hope that the tag will be released to Clinton in the coming week when the data can at last be downloaded, and we can see where Marina went, how deep she dived and where she was feeding.  This information is groundbreaking for a shark in this area, and we hope it is the first of many to give us a clear picture of juvenile white shark movments around the North of the North Island.

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