Shark named 'Maroochy' keeping trackers on their toes
YOU never know exactly what's in the water when you head out for a swim, unless it's a 3m tagged tiger shark called Maroochy.
The female tiger shark was tagged on February 2 last year and recent data shows Maroochy cruising past Coonarr, Elliott Heads, Innes Park, Bargara and Burnett Heads in the past few weeks.
International non-profit organisation Ocearch are the researchers behind the shark-tagging project and one of its main aims is to create safer beaches by allowing beach-goers to see the current whereabouts of sharks in the area.
In February last year two tiger sharks were caught off Fraser Island - Jedda and Maroochy - and fitted with the real-time tracking equipment.
Beachgoers can download the Global Shark Tracker App and see the last recorded location of each tagged shark at any given time.
On February 10 Maroochy was just north of Bargara before she headed south to Coonarr where she was recorded on February 11.
Maroochy then headed north again, swimming above Burnett Heads.
The data also shows after being tagged Jedda spent most of her time near the northern tip of Fraser Island, with occasional ventures up and around Lady Elliott and Lady Musgrave Islands. However the last recorded "ping" to pinpoint Jedda's location was at 3.27am on June 20 last year.
Ocearch travels the world tagging sharks for research purposes and during last year's expedition to Fraser Island, expedition leader Chris Fischer spoke to the Fraser Coast Chronicle. He said the data might help ensure the sustainability of the often-feared creature.
"The new data will help provide Australia with a better understanding of when, how and why tiger sharks forage, particularly near public beaches," he said.
"This project is about delivering previously unattainable data to public safety officials and conservation managers.
"It's our goal to create the most inclusive, open-sourced shark project with the Australian people in history."
Visit http://www.ocearch.org to see the data yourself or use the Global Shark Tracker App available for Apple or android platforms.