Port Jackson Sharks (PJ’s) are really puppy dogs of the ocean. They have blunt head and harness-like markings, which cross the eyes, run to the back to the first dorsal fin, then cross the side of the body. This pattern makes it very easy to identify the species. Port Jacksons can grow to a length of 1. 65m. PJ’s comes into the waters around Sydney to mate every winter. The Port Jackson remains shark we still know very little about, where do the go when they leave Sydney, what do they do? In 2001 in conjunction with The University of Newcastle, Abyss Scuba Diving, captured, measured and release almost 200 Port Jackson sharks as part scientific study of the PJ’s. In the next twelve months the tagged sharks were found as far away as Eden and off Tasmania in Bass Strait. The following winter some of the sharks returned to Sydney but after that, very few sharks were ever sighted again. However, the information gained from this study and similar studies in Jervis Bay has helped develop valuable information of these little studied sharks.
Last Friday (28th August 2015) as part of a Port Jackson Shark dive, two of those tagged sharks (tagged in 2001) were sighted at Bare Island. Their travels for the past 14 years is a complete mystery. Apart from the tag number, no information was gained from the sighting. The following weekend 15 divers searched the area around Bare Island looking for the tagged sharks in an effort to obtain more data but the sharks could not be found. Then Sunday 13th September a further dive involving 30 divers was organised. This time a 3rd shark was found, the shark was a female 1.12m in length with tag A07.