25 Sep 2012

Great white shark secrets revealed

2:47 pm on 25 September 2012

Scientists have discovered where great white sharks go when they leave New Zealand waters.

Until now, it was unclear exactly where the sharks, which spend most the year in waters near Stewart Island, were going in the winter months.

In the last two years, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research scientists have used a different tag system to accurately track the shark's movements.

Scientist Malcolm Francis says the research shows sharks tagged in New Zealand have been located in the sea off Tonga and New Caledonia, and Australia's Great Barrier Reef and Bondi Beach.

The great white shark has been protected since 2007 and Dr Francis says the research is a wider effort to protect the species from fishing.

Dr Francis says the new system will help researchers identify shark hotspots and warn fishing boats to avoid those areas.