Scientists find rare shark

Tasmanian researchers have made a significant marine life discovery off the east coast of Flinders Island.

The Australian Maritime College has found a type of gulper shark previously thought to be almost extinct.

In April, students and researchers on the Maritime College’s vessel Bluefin accidently caught two Harrisons Dogfish.

The College was able to measure, tag and release the sharks, providing new hope that a bigger population may exist.

The dogfish were found in a Commonwealth Marine Park east of Flinders Island and college Lecturer David Maynard says researchers are now back out on the water trying to find more.

“If we get only one of the endangered sharks it will be a benefit to that species,” he said.

The CSIRO’s Ross Daley has joined the research effort.

“Because of the vulnerability of this animal, we’ll still need to monitor it carefully,” he said.

It’s hoped 500 Harrisons Dogfish would be enough for a genetically diverse population.