20 April 2016

Page 6

NEWS DESK

Trackers plumb the Keith Platt keith@baysidenews.com.au

Making tracks: Studies of great white sharks has led researchers to believe journeys of white sharks are not as random as may first appear. Top, dissecting a shark that was caught in a fishing net. Pictures and graphic: Supplied

A KEEN surfer, Kent Stannard has a fascination with sharks. He never misses a news report on the latest shark attack and is always trying to discover the circumstances surrounding the incident. When a series of attacks near Ballina in northern NSW caused widespread concern last year he was on the spot. Stannard predicts a similar situation this year with one surfer at Newcastle already being badly mauled. Stannard is the head of Tag for Life, a non-for-profit organisation investigating shark behaviour, particularly that of great whites. Alongside Tag for Life is Whitetag, a clothing supply company that donates profits to the ongoing shark study. Stannard, of Blairgowries, runs a Facebook site “dedicated purely to the sharks” and the electronic tracks being monitored by Tag For Life. The site has regular updates and at times provides running commentary on movements of a particular shark or shark events and attacks. The Tag For Life organisation works with the CSIRO and NSW Fisheries in placing electronic tags on sharks that transmit information about the predator. Once collated data enables scientists to effectively map the sharks’ movements and correlate this information with water temperatures, movements of fish and animals hunted by sharks and if their journey

is random or repeated. Stannard says five of 14 sharks tagged in the wake of attacks at Byron Bay and Ballina travelled south to Bass Strait, with one passing ocean beaches off the Mornington Peninsula and Phillip Island. Another shark circumnavigated Tasmania before moving to waters off Kangaroo Island in South Australia. The one that came past the peninsula was then tracked to south west of Flinders Island. Stannard discounted reports of a

shark being spotted off Rye as “a hoax. I spoke to the brother of the person who posted on the shark alerts pages. He did it to keep people out of the surf.” Anecdotal evidence is also added to the store of knowledge collected from tagged sharks. “A pilot and commercial fisher once told me that when flying he saw more white sharks close to shore when water temperatures were around 16 degrees, which is near to where we are in central Bass Strait at the minute

Police patrol

Feeling flat after arrest

Car rams police van THE driver of a car that rammed a Carrum Downs divisional van in Langwarrin early Friday morning is Caucasian, mid-to-late 30s, 180cm tall, with a thin build and shaved head. The incident occurred after a suspicious vehicle was seen in a hotel car park, Cranbourne Rd, at 3am. While police were making inquiries a maroon Ford sedan sped past their car. It was found soon after in a driveway at Wahgunyah Cr. The driver of the car reversed into the front of the van, causing significant damage. The two officers were not injured and the man fled towards Warrandyte Rd. A female passenger was assisting police last week. Anyone who saw the incident, or who has any information, should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report at crimestoppersvic.com.au

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A WANTED man driving a stolen Ford Territory at 2.30am, Sunday last week, around the streets of Langwarrin was unconcerned about it having a flat tyre. But residents woken by the noise certainly were and called Frankston police. When they arrived the Seaford man – who was changing the tyre – allegedly attempted to flee along Lennox St before being recaptured with what police say was a small amount of methamphetamines in his pocket. The 35 year old was facing outstanding warrants relating to similar offences and also failing to appear at various courts in February, March and April. He faced Frankston Magistrates’ Court, Monday, but his case was delayed while further charges relating to possession

of ice were heard at Dandenong. No result was available when the Frankston Times went to press. He is facing 37 charges, including theft of cars, theft from cars, petrol driveoffs, possession a controlled weapon, driving while disqualified, possessing the drug ice, and offences against the Bail Act. The car theft charges relate to his allegedly visiting car dealerships in Cranbourne, Cheltenham, Berwick and Moorabbin over the past few months and inspecting cars, then going for test drives and, allegedly, not coming back. The Ford Territory, which police allege was found with stolen number plates, was taken from the Coles Express, Langwarrin, 30 March, after the owner left the keys in the ignition and went inside to shop.

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Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News 20 April 2016

Bayside News


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