US scientists want to tag WA sharks

22 November 2013 3:22 AM

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US scientists want to tag WA sharks

A US shark research group has revealed the array of tagging and testing it wants to do on great white sharks in WA in a detailed proposal to the State Government.

OCEARCH hopes to work with Australian scientists on a 25-day expedition tagging adult sharks in WA waters next year.

The research group's founder Chris Fischer said WA scientists of different specialties would have the opportunity to do their own shark research during the expedition.

"This is not us coming down there to perform science," Mr Fischer said yesterday.

"It's us coming down there to try and enable your scientists, who are some of the best in the world, to have access to the mature animal."

The proposal was sent to Fisheries Minister Troy Buswell, Fisheries director-general Stuart Smith, his deputy Heather Brayford and Fisheries principal research scientist Rory McAuley this week.

Last month, Mr Buswell said he was open to the possibility of OCEARCH coming to WA but had not received a proposal.

Mr Fischer said it was difficult to predict how many sharks they would be able to catch and tag in WA waters but they would work to get as many as possible.

"The rate and breadth of data collection significantly enhances the missing data required to solve conservation and public safety issues," the proposal says.

Each shark caught by a baited hook is guided on to a platform on the side of OCEARCH's research boat.

The platform is then lifted out of the water for 15 minutes and the shark is blindfolded with seawater pumped through its gills, while the scientists work.

Researchers attach four tags to track movement, behaviour and surroundings.

Source: au.news.yahoo.com

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