Research on the Great White Shark


A tagged shark

Great White Sharks, or ‘White Pointers’ as they are commonly known, visit the Neptune Islands as a reliable source of food. With over 4000 New Zealand Fur Seals born on the Islands each year, the surrounding waters are an important stop off on the shark’s nomadic migratory travels through the Southern coasts of Australia. The Seals give birth to their pups in November/December each year. The size of the seal colony has been steadily growing over the past 2 decades and the Neptune Island colony is by far the largest breeding colony in South Australia.

Calypso Star Charters is proudly involved with the CSIRO who conduct extensive research into Great White Sharks around Australia. This support includes deploying tags and vessel assistance to deploy and service acoustic listening stations at the Neptune’s. As a license condition, we are required to provide data to the Department of Environment and CSIRO regarding shark sightings, weather and water conditions, vessel location and berley (chum) usage.

White sharks are of national and international conservation significance.  They are protected in Australian waters under fisheries and threatened species legislation and are the subject of state agency shark response  plans due to their high profile and potential threat to public safety. They also interact with tourism enterprises and commercial and recreational fishing operations.


Licence to berley

The research is conducted to assist in the management of human interaction with the species in Australian waters. Research continues in to the movements patterns, breeding patterns and favoured habitats of the Great White Shark.  The provision of our daily charter information to them, along with the data collected via their listening stations is vital to this continued research. From time to time we welcome scientist and other representative onboard for conducting further hands on research.

CSIRO Fact Sheets

Tagging and tracking of Great White Sharks at the Neptune Islands

White sharks that visit the Neptune Islands are generally greater than three metres in length and can be over five metres in length. White sharks are temporary visitors to the Neptune Islands, no white shark lives here. Many sharks at the Neptune Islands have been tagged with electronic tags to monitor how long they stay and contribute to a broader picture of their movement patterns and favoured habitats in Australia. Read the full document here

Where are the small white sharks

White sharks are about 1.2 to 1.5 metres long at birth and weigh up to 35kgs. The sharks that visit the Neptune Islands are generally greater than three metres in length and can be 300 to 1500kg; few small sharks are seen here. So where are the small white sharks? Read the full document here.


Shark Research with CSIRO

Our crew are well trained and experienced and at all times strive to provide you with the most satisfying and safe Shark Cage Diving experience possible. Our license conditions also set out guidelines as to how to handle the Great White Sharks, obviously with great care. Our tours are operated to cause no stress to the sharks and minimise any impact on the marine environment. We strive to impart our vast knowledge of White Sharks to our guests onboard every charter. Not only will you have a day to remember but you will gain a better appreciation of this often misunderstood creature of the deep.

We understand that while you are onboard with us you are on holidays so we won’t overload you with information. On the boat you can be as involved as you like, our crew are always keen to talk about sharks, fishing and life on the beautiful Eyre Peninsula.

For more info. see the CSIRO White Shark research



Photos: Show Tagged Sharks & Berley