Daisy the great white shark goes missing in Bay of Plenty after satellite tag falls off

  • 29/05/2023
Daisy the shark.
Daisy the shark. Photo credit: Sustainable Oceans Society / Supplied

By Natasha Hill, Te Rito journalism cadet

Researchers have lost Daisy, the great white shark, after her satellite tracker fell off in waters off the Bay of Plenty.

Shark scientist Dr Riley Elliott had been tracking Daisy and said signals from the 2.75m female shark's tag were picked up near Matakana Island two days ago.

"It looks like that's where the shark and device parted ways," he said.

The signal has since floated to Pāpāmoa Beach, near the surf club.

Elliott said recent bad weather seemed to have caused the problem with the satellite marker.

"One of the unfortunate factors is the flooding, the logs and the seaweed, which increases the potential for capture of the tag."

He said there was no way to find Daisy until the weather improved and he was able to get back out on the water and try to find her again.

"She's been seen in this area, and hopefully, she'll still be around here, so we can put that tag back on her."

Elliott was keen to get the satellite tracker back as they had also lost the tags from two other sharks.

The research project was driven by funding and support from the public and is hosted by the Sustainable Ocean Society - a non-profit group established by Elliott and a group of his friends.

As previously reported in the Bay of Plenty Times, Elliott tagged Daisy on December 3 inside Bowentown's harbour - just north of Tauranga and close to the area off Bowentown beach where teenager Kaelah Marlow died after being bitten by a great white shark in 2021.

Daisy was the first shark tagged in Elliott's project. Two weeks later, she was detected off Hawai on the East Cape and was spotted in Mount Maunganui in January.

According to the app website, the location accuracy of the tracked sharks ranged from 250m to several kilometres, depending on how long the tag was above water. The longer it was out, the more accurate the fix from satellites.

This meant sharks could sometimes appear to be on land in the app.

Daisy the great white shark goes missing in Bay of Plenty after satellite tag falls off