Reward offered after great white shark tag goes missing off NZ

Wed, May 31

Researchers have lost a great white shark after her satellite tracker fell off in the waters near the Bay of Plenty.

The tag on Daisy, the shark, is ultra special - being used as part of a major research project into sharks in the region.

To get people enticed to join the search for the missing tag, a $100 reward is being offered for its safe return.

Speaking to Breakfast this morning, marine biologist Dr Riley Elliot said the devices are incredibly important in understanding the behaviour of sharks.

“It’s incredibly hard to learn about a wild free-roaming animal in the ocean,” he said.

Shark fin (file photo).

Elliot said the tags - which hang on the back of the animals, are the least invasive way of tracking them.

“But it does come with the risk that sometimes these tags go missing.”

It’s likely the tracker was caught on some debris left over from the recent extreme weather, Elliot said.

“The sharks have had a bad run through the floods, just like we have,”

He knows the tracker has come off, as it didn’t move like a shark - eventually being washed up on a beach.

He’s also certain it’s not in the sea, as he watched it travel down a highway, eventually ending up on Cameron Road in Tauranga’s Gate Pa.

“If you know someone who works in those areas, lives in those areas - keep an eye out.”

Elliot wants to see families join the search, which is why they’re offering $100 - to get kids involved.

The research comes as more sharks have been sighted in the area - so the researchers want to know more about them to keep humans and sharks safe.

“Great whites have never really been in this area before, and as a surfer who lives in that area and many others who holiday there, when great whites show up, you kinda want to know what they're doing.

“You wouldn’t just go and play tennis in the Savannah without understanding a little bit about lions.”