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Tauranga: Shark scientist Riley Elliot says great white Daisy’s tag still missing in Gate Pa

Natasha Hill

Where’s Daisy’s tracker? That’s the burning question - and source of a few jokes - in Tauranga’s Gate Pa suburb

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Where’s Daisy’s tracker?

That’s the burning question - and source of a few jokes - in Tauranga’s Gate Pa suburb after researchers lost track of the great white shark when her high-tech marker fell off in waters off the Bay of Plenty.

Shark scientist Dr Riley Elliott tagged Daisy in Bowentown Harbour in December and has been tracking the 2.75m female’s movements via satellite since.

He said her tag came off near Matakana Island last weekend.

The blip from the tag moved across the water to Pāpāmoa Beach, then overland, settling in Gate Pa.

Elliot made a public Facebook post of maps showing a 250-metre radius where the tracker could be, based on its latest ping and the accuracy of the signal.

It has been in the same place for more than two days, and Elliot said today that despite a $100 reward, no one had come forward with the tag or any information.

“In this day and age, we can’t find something with the tracker on it, it’s a bit weird.”

A small team of Te Rito journalism programme cadets training at the Bay of Plenty Times this week went out on Wednesday to try to track the elusive tracker and see if the locals had spotted the device.

The area is a mix of residential homes and commercial operations.

Near the epicentre of the satellite’s signal, a couple having their campervan repaired said they knew about Daisy and her missing tag but had seen neither.

“We’re just looking for a harpoon now, just in case,” they joked.

A few metres on, Anthony from Vanquish Cycles said his team had not seen any treasure hunters searching for the tag but joked that he had seen a few pirates and sharks - though not of the fish variety.

The intrepid team also scoured local demolition and car yards and even ferreted through a couple of dumped bags of rubbish - all to no avail.

Several other local people spoken to said they would be spreading the word about the missing satellite marker around the Gate Pa community.

But so far, the high-tech tag remains elusive and its $100 reward is unclaimed.

As for Daisy, Elliot said he will not be going out to sea to look for her until the season and time are right.

“In winter, usually shark behaviour takes most fish offshore because when the water is cool, the fish go out into the deeper water where the temperature is more stable.”

Elliot was still hoping people’s curiosity and some community help would lead to the satellite tracker being recovered.

Hero Image: A location tracker attached to a shark. Photo / Supplied

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