A tagged blue shark recaptured by a longliner off the south east coast of South Africa, has clocked up the record distance travelled by any shark recorded under the Gamefish Tagging Program. The previous record was a blue shark released off Kilcunda (VIC) that was recaptured in the Indian Ocean, having recorded a straight line distance of 2400 nautical miles.
The new record breaking fish recorded a straight line distance of 5,073 nautical miles having swum across the Indian Ocean from its first release location at Port MacDonnell (SA) five years previously.
The blue shark was released originally by Adelaide GFC member, Paul Williams off Port MacDonnell on the 20th May 2005. The shark was estimated to be 9kg in weight when first tagged and was released on a day when Williams had tagged fifteen using circle hooks. When recaptured, the shark weighed 47kg.
In related events, Nickol Bay SFC boat Tourettes has been successfully targeting tiger sharks over the past 20 months, fishing local Western Australian grounds. Kevin Deacon’s team has tagged a total of 33 tiger sharks in this period.
The Tourettes team recently notched up three recaptures of sharks that they originally tagged. One shark recaptured by Candice Williams after a period of almost 15 months at liberty had been previously released by Tourettes when fishing off Dampier in March of 2009. It was recaptured in Nickol Bay in June 2010, just 17 nautical miles (as the crow flies) from the release location.
The other two sharks were recaptured on the same night as the first release, in the same location, interestingly one of which was caught after being tagged only two hours previously despite it having fought for 80 minutes prior to its release.