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.
The new techniques are being used to compile key information needed for estimates of white shark numbers, including juvenile and adult survival rates, juvenile and adult abundance, and reproductive frequency.
Population estimates and trends are needed to evaluate the success of Australia’s white shark National Recovery Plan. They also provide a scientific basis for policies that strive to balance conservation and public safety.
The techniques are being developed during research in eastern Australia and will be applied in the west as juvenile aggregation and nursery sites become better known.
A national monitoring strategy will also be designed, enabling population estimates to be refined over time, and the work will contribute to the assessment of other conservation-dependent species.
The research is led by CSIRO and is part of the Australian Government National Environmental Research Program Marine Biodiversity Hub.
Scientists from WA Fisheries, NSW Department of Primary Industries and University of Technology Sydney are undertaking or assisting with components of the program.