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Great white shark sets 3,000 km swim record

The journey of the female shark, named Kerri by scientists, was the longest swim recorded in New Zealand, according to NIWA.

world Updated: Dec 24, 2007 11:57 IST
DPA

A great white shark, electronically tagged in March in New Zealand, has swum more than 3,000 km to Australia's Great Barrier Reef, it was reported on Monday.

The journey of the 4.4-metre female shark, named Kerri by scientists, was the longest swim recorded in New Zealand, according to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

It was the first evidence that great whites, which are protected in New Zealand waters, do travel to Australia, a NIWA statement said.

The shark was given an electronic "popup" tag by a team of scientists from New Zealand, Germany and the US in March at Stewart Island.

The tag records location, depth and temperature and floats to the surface after a pre-determined time, transmitting data to a satellite, which emails the results to the scientists' computers.

The tag began calling home on December 18, but it will be another 10 days before all its data is received.

"At this stage, we don't know what route Kerri took or how quickly she travelled to Australia," said NIWA fisheries scientist Malcolm Francis.

Department of Conservation scientists Clinton Duffy said: "Our tagging results show these sharks can be highly mobile."

"Australian tagged sharks have turned up in New Zealand waters, and now, for the first time, we have evidence that this is a two-way process. Our results suggest that white sharks in the south-west Pacific may comprise a single population."