Ninth great white shark just tagged off Ballina
UPDATED, 2.10pm: THE Department of Primary Industries shark tagging team has just tagged a 2.9m female great white shark in waters off Ballina.
It was the ninth great white tagged since the DPI's tagging operation was launched in late August.
At 2.9m in length, the shark is the fourth longest to be tagged, with the others ranging from 2.2m to 3m.
The female white was the first shark to be tagged in the latest week-long round of tagging, which commenced today with aerial surveillance.
A spokeswoman from the DPI said the early results from the tagging program so far "suggested that white sharks are highly mobile and can travel large distances daily".
"The data is providing on-going information on local residency patterns and broader scale movements which was the original objective of the project."
This week's shark tagging operation is the third time shark and fisheries experts from the DPI have come to the North Coast to conduct tagging since late August.
The latest operation comes ahead of a community shark forum at Lennox Head this Friday night hosted by NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair.
ORIGINAL STORY: EXPERTS from the Department of Primary Industries are taking to the skies this morning for aerial surveillance on the first day of the third round of shark tagging since the project commenced in August.
This latest operation is expected to run until about Sunday or Monday next week.
Shark expert Dr Vic Peddemors and his team have to date tagged eight sharks. Late last month the Department released a tracking map revealing what appeared to be six of those eight sharks roaming exclusively between Yamba and Byron Bay, with Evans Head appearing to be the central congregation point.
However, there are questions over whether the unprecedented number of shark sightings will continue, with some reports that sightings during aerial patrols have declined over the last week.
In Ballina this Friday, Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair will also host a public meeting to update the community on the proposed trial of shark attack mitigation measures.
The forum will be held at Lennox Head Public School at 6pm.
Mr Blair said he was "determined" to see shark deterrent technologies trialled on the North Coast this summer.
"This forum will provide the community with the opportunity to hear first-hand from our experts what some of those technologies could be as well as providing an update on the tagging program that is currently underway on the North Coast," he said.
Representatives from the Ballina Shark Mitigation Advisory Panel will also be present, including local police and surf lifesavers.
The community will be invited to ask questions about shark attack mitigation measures and bather protection.
The local shark forum follows a major shark summit in Sydney last month, which brought together 70 marine experts from around the world to review a range emerging shark deterrent technologies to determine if any would be suitable to trial along NSW beaches.