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Report tagged school sharks

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A Massey University PhD student is looking for help to report the capture of school sharks in the Kaipara Harbour.

Alex Burton is studying the population ecology of school (tope/grey boy) sharks in the Kaipara Harbour and part of his research involves tracking the movements of school sharks from around New Zealand.

He does this using two different methods:

  1. Deploying satellite tags onto adult school sharks.
  2. Attaching spaghetti tags to captured individuals (without a prominent neonatal scar) and re-releasing them and working with the Tindale Marine Research Charitable Trust (TMRCT).

Burton is relying on the public to report recaptures of tagged school sharks through the TMRCT inshore tagging programme as a way to track the movements of spaghetti-tagged individuals.  

Considering that this species can be found throughout New Zealand in sheltered harbours, along the coastline and out past the continental shelf, He needs every available pair of eyes looking out for these sharks when they are captured.

Anyone who captures a school shark or any other fish with a tag is asked to release live captures (if possible) and to record the following details: 

  • Tag number
  • Total length 
  • Capture location
  • Date captured
  • Capture location depth
  • Any other observations

Once recorded, please report these details to this site or email

If you have any questions, would like to learn more about the project, or would like to have a chat in general, you can email Burton on

Anyone interested in getting involved in the TMRCT inshore tagging programme can visit this link.