THE fearsome bull shark is not the coast-hugging creature many thought them to be, a new study has revealed.

Ground-breaking research by scientists has dispelled the popular belief that the species doesn't like to travel.

Shark research scientist Dr Jonathan Werry, from Ocean and Coast Research, who heads an ambitious bull shark monitoring program in conjunction with Griffith University, Sea World and the Queensland Government, has tagged 40 Queensland bull sharks in the past 14 months between the Fraser Coast and the Gold Coast.

One shark tagged by researchers at Jumpinpin on the Gold Coast was found a few months later 200km away at Byron Bay.

Dr Werry, who is currently conducting research in New Caledonia, is excited by the discovery saying it showed the bull shark has more in common with its bigger counterparts than once thought.

Dr Werry said great white sharks had been known to travel between Australia and South Africa, and he had once tagged a tiger shark that had swum from New Caledonia to Queensland's Fraser Coast.

He said water temperature played a crucial role in the migratory patterns of sharks and that different species would stay within a few degrees of a given temperature.

Dr Werry hopes the study will help his team better understand the movement of sharks and reveal other previously unknown patterns of behaviour so authorities can make more informed decisions about shark management.


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