Sharks movements monitored

Research from the Australian Acoustic Tagging and Monitoring System (AATAMS) shows the effect of water temperature on the movement and distribution of sharks.

The movements of reef sharks at Ningaloo Reef are being tracked by AATAMS, part of the nation-wide collaborative Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS). Long term patterns of habitat use and dispersal will help manage the populations in areas where sharks are vulnerable to habitat degradation due to climate change.

Shifting current patterns, seal-level rise and increasing temperatures affect the availability of prey and suitable habitat for shark populations.

Scientists from Charles Darwin University, the Australian Institute of Marine Science, the University of Adelaide and CSIRO have so far tagged 83 sharks and collected thousands of detections of their location.

Conrad Speed, from the School of Environmental Research at Charles Darwin University, is investigating the movement patterns and feeding ecology of black tip, white tip, grey reef, lemon and nervous sharks.

“Movement patterns are monitored using acoustic transmitters, also known as