News

Tags increase sharks’ appetite for humans, says vet

STOP TAGGING: Dr Peter Kerkenezov is concerned about the shark tagging program.
STOP TAGGING: Dr Peter Kerkenezov is concerned about the shark tagging program. Jamie Brown

BALLINA animal rights activist and veterinarian Dr (Captain) Peter Kerkenezov has called for a review of the current practices of large shark tagging, claiming tag transmitter frequency only increases their appetite for humans.

The former mariner believes if a tagged shark emitting unique acoustic beeps at 69kHz was readily detected by man-made receivers, it followed that any animal with a hearing range within the frequency will pick up a tagged shark's presence.

"In areas such as Ballina where there are no pinnipeds, the white sharks longer than 3.5m length depend on dolphins, whales and large fish. The 69kHz frequency emission from implanted white sharks sits in the middle of the hearing range of dolphins, so a shark's presence is now easily detected.

"The dolphins may now adopt a silent mode to avoid predation. A hungry shark likely becomes a dangerous shark. That is, until it becomes sick and dies from surgical complications or detected and killed by its only ocean predator, the killer whale."

A spokesperson from Department of Primary Industries, however, has refuted the local vet's claims.

"There is no scientific evidence to suggest that the 69kHz frequency interferes with marine life and 69kHz is not an adverse sound to marine mammals," the spokesperson said.

"This frequency is universally standard and used on thousands of tagged aquatic animals (sharks, fishes, invertebrates) around the world."

Dr Kerkenezov was also concerned over reports that just one of 222 great white sharks being tracked by satellite-linked receiver buoys off the coast of Western Australia had been detected in the first two months of this summer.

He believes that the tagging could be causing long-term distress and changing the sharks' natural behaviour, even causing death.

"It seems mortality and morbidity data is unavailable and if institutions do have such data then it should be made available," he said.

"There is no real idea of how many of these sharks will die as a consequence of wound infection, or other complications after release."

The DPI refuted the Dr Kerkenezov's claims that the surgical tagging was inhumane.

"Many thousands of aquatic animals have been tagged using this procedure, each project around the world being endorsed through various ethics committees that include veterinary specialists," the DPI spokesperson said.

Topics:  ballina shark attacks sharks tagging vet



Plans floated for Ballina trawler harbour

Dredging has been finished at the Ballina trawler harbour.

Ballina mayor wants to make river big asset

He served his country but died a lonely death

BEFORE: A photo of Walter Derrett's grave taken in 1934 and printed in the Northern Star.

One of the saddest stories Tales from the Grave has uncovered

Busy year for busy bees restoring neglected duck pond

From left, Mark Bailey and Derek Goodwin of South Lismore Duck Pond Landcare with the Mayor of Lismore Isaac Smith.

South Lismore Duck Pond wins grant to continue much-needed work

Local Partners

Wonderland star hits the big time in America

HE MAY not be James Bond, but Bundaberg lad Michael Dorman has hit the big time in a lead on Amazon web series Patriot.

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Northern Rivers gig guide

PIRATE FLAG: The Hussy Hick's latest single is a crowd favourite that echoes a sentiment of political scepticism. Hear Pirate Flag at Tintenbar Upfront, Tintenbar Hall, tomorrow 7.30pm. $20.

What's on this week in local entertainment

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Reginald VelJohnson, left, and Darius McCrary arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2009 in Universal City, Calif.

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

Bindi Irwin's birthday tribute to her dad

Bindi Irwin

Bindi Irwin has paid tribute to her dad on his 55th birthday

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!