OCEARCH and collaborating Australian scientist tagged the first Australian tiger shark February 2nd. Jedda is an 11 ft. 8 in. Australian female tiger shark named by Cat Products fan Schwarz Wolf. She is named after the Australian movie Jedda, the first film to star two Aboriginal actors in leading roles.
James Cook University’s Dr Adam Barnett said despite terrible weather conditions, the tagging of the first shark perfectly met the research criteria.
“You are always anxious until you tag your first one,” Dr Barnett said. “The weather has meant ruling out some of the areas we were hoping to tag sharks in – but we are optimistic of tagging sharks larger than 4m. We were able to get everything we needed from tissue sample for genetics and safely put on a number of tracking devices undoable in the water, providing data we could never have dreamed of achieving on our own. Researchers in this area are crying out for funding so this project is quite significant.”
This is essentially a gift of research to the value of over $2 million, giving Australian shark researchers’ work invaluable momentum. Caterpillar and Mining Support Company Hastings Deering will provide engineering support ensuring the ship and expedition runs smoothly.
The primary aim of studying migratory paths of sharks is achieving safer beaches, while ensuring the sustainability of an often-feared creature is now closer with the tagging of the first shark: Jedda’s pings can now be followed anywhere in the world.
“With tracking we hope to get a better understanding of how these sharks move between the warm temperate waters of New South Wales in the summer, to the sub-tropical and tropical waters of Queensland in winter,” Expedition Leader Chris Fischer said. “The first is always the one you hold your breath for.”