University Of Tasmania

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Behavioural responses of draughtboard sharks (Cephaloscyllium laticeps) to rare earth magnets: implications for shark bycatch management within the Tasmanian southern rock lobster fishery

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 15:27 authored by Westlake, EL, Michael WilliamsMichael Williams, Nicholas RawlinsonNicholas Rawlinson
Catches of draughtboard shark (Cephaloscyllium laticeps) in the Tasmanian Southern Rock Lobster Fishery are considered an economic and potentially ecological issue. Consequently, there is interest in developing strategies to mitigate and minimise shark bycatch within this fishery. This field study examined the behavioural responses of draughtboard sharks to neodymium-iron-boron (Nd2Fe14B) rare earth magnetic rods attached to baited video apparatus. Two magnetic treatments and one control were used in 12 × 1.5 h observational trials conducted in inshore waters of Tasmania, Australia. Results demonstrate that draughtboard sharks: (1) showed substantial individual variation in behaviours both between and within treatments, with no patterns of individual responses observed over time to both magnetic treatments or the control, (2) showed significant differences in initial interactions between the magnetic treatments and the control, and (3) attempted to take bait at the control significantly more often than at the 2-magnet treatment. These findings demonstrate the individualistic and highly variable response behaviours of draughtboard sharks to rare earth magnets. Understanding such behaviours may facilitate the development of effective deterrent strategies in this fishery and improve management of shark-fishery interactions globally.


Publication title

Fisheries Research








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Elsevier Science Bv

Place of publication

Po Box 211, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1000 Ae

Rights statement

© 2018 Elsevier B.V

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Marine biodiversity