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Subject: Shark Tagging Methods
From: David Powter <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 22 Apr 2002 11:25:07 +1000

text/plain (48 lines)

List members,

I am researching the Port Jackson shark, Heterodontus portusjackoni, at
the University of Newcastle (Australia) and am trying to get some
advice/suggestions on the best method of tagging them.  Port Jacksons are a
small shark growing to a maximum length of 1.65m and are found on the
shallow coastal reefs of southern Australia during our winter months.
During these times they mate and deposit their egg cases in rocky
crevices.  They are a bottom dwelling species that is largely inactive during
the day and is readily approached and handled by divers.  It appears
that adult females may migrate up to 800km between their winter breeding
and summer grounds.

The tagging programme being considered will involve volunteer SCUBA
divers with limited training, but experience in diving with Port Jackson
sharks.  One method of tagging proposed involves the use of caudal
peduncle tags.  The tags consist of a cattle ear type tag attached to a
seawater resistant nylon cable tie which is attached around the caudal
peduncle, leaving 1-2cm of slack.  This method is simple for untrained
divers, but some concerns have been raised about the tags damaging the
caudal peduncle and caudal fin.  I'm interested in any information/views on

Also, I'm seeking suggestions for other methods of tagging these sharks
underwater that would be simple for untrained, but recreationally
competent SCUBA divers.  The sharks are generally easy to handle underwater
and pose little, if any, risk to divers.

Please reply directly to me at [log in to unmask] and I'll provide
summarised information for anyone that's interested upon request.


David Powter

School of Applied Sciences, University of Newcastle.

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