Australia is home to more than a quarter of the world's shark and ray fauna. These species contribute to healthy oceans as top predators in the marine ecosystem, but many of them are declining. We provide knowledge and advice to help manage the many threats to shark and ray populations.
The facts about white sharks
Answers to the questions we are most often asked about white sharks, such as where they are, how many there are, how we tag and track them, and why they need protecting.
Protecting vulnerable white sharks
The white shark is listed as vulnerable and migratory under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Can white shark numbers be estimated?
There are no reliable estimates of white shark population sizes or trends in Australian waters.
Does berleying affect white shark behaviour?
Seal colonies regularly visited by white sharks can be ideal for shark viewing tourism. In Australia, white shark cage diving occurs only at the Neptune Islands Group Marine Park.
What is the purpose of shark nets?
Shark nets operate by entangling sharks that swim into them by chance.
What happens when sharks and people meet?
An understanding of shark movements and behaviour, however, is important to better understand the risk of encounters with sharks. Our research does not relate directly to shark attacks.
Where do white sharks go in Australian waters?
White sharks occur in coastal, shelf, and continental slope waters around Australia, from north-western Western Australia and south around the coast to central Queensland.
In collaboration with various partners and funding agencies, we’ve deployed some 250 electronic tags on 210 different white sharks since 2000 (some sharks are tagged with more than one type of electronic tag).
Our scientists are using genetic and statistical analyses, electronic tagging and aerial survey techniques to develop the first estimates of how many white sharks there are in Australia, and whether their numbers are rising or falling.