Tagged monster cruises off Albany
The 5m Great White tagged at Mistaken Island. Pictures: Department of Fisheries

The Department of Fisheries says expanding WA's shark monitoring network to Albany is already showing benefits after the biggest great white tagged off Australia was detected six times in an hour off Middleton Beach this week.

The 5m shark was tagged with an acoustic transmitter 10 days ago after being captured by Fisheries officers off Mistaken Island.

The mature female was flipped over into a docile "tonic immobility" state, tagged with a transmitter and quickly released.

It was detected six times in an hour on Monday 400m off Ellen Cove via a satellite receiver. Two beacons installed off Albany in December pick up the signals and send alerts to Fisheries and Albany Surf Life Saving Club.

Middleton Beach was closed.

Shark monitoring network project manager Mark Kleeman said tagging the monster would lead to a better understanding of the great white's movements.

"As far as we know, that is the largest white shark to be internally tagged in Australia," he said. "There is anecdotal evidence that sharks can frequent the same areas over time and now that we have it tagged we are going to have potentially 10 years of data from this mature female and which areas it likes."

Fisheries officers have tagged five great whites off Albany in the past five months, taking the total tagged between Esperance and Albany since 2009 to 17.

Mr Kleeman said tagging such a big shark, weighing close to 1600kg, was great reward to the department and researchers.

The West Australian

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