Shark’s baffling 13,300km voyage

by Tony Bishop on January 7, 2013

New Zealand scientists are baffled by the 13,300km migration of a mako shark tagged in a landmark study.

The shark, a 1.8-metre mako named Carol, has been tracked by Niwa scientists using a satellite tagging device. The tag was attached to Carol in the Bay of Islands six months ago.

The tag has provided the scientists with previously unknown details of the timing and long-distance migratory movements of the species.

"Conventional plastic identification tags tell us little about the timing of mako shark movements, the route that they take or distance travelled," said Dr Malcolm Francis, who is leading the Niwa research.

So far, Carol has travelled over 13,300km, averaging 60km per day and exceeding 100km per day during some parts of her migration. She has swum to Fiji and back and has worked her way past the Bay of Plenty and Hawke Bay heading south.

She was last heard from heading down the east coast of the South Island past the Kaikoura Peninsula.

The tag has revealed that Carol is spending a lot of time at the ocean’s surface, reporting her location to the satellite several times daily.

Full story in NZ Herald

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