Mike Bennett and Carley Bansemer, University of Queensland
Department of the Environment and Heritage, December 2004
About the report
There is global concern over the status of the grey nurse shark (Carcharias taurus) and it is listed as "Vulnerable" on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List accordingly. The grey nurse shark is one of Australia's most endangered marine species. Since the 1800s this species has been hunted for its oil, flesh, skin and fins. Historically, due to their fierce appearance and being mistaken for other sharks that pose a danger to humans, large numbers of grey nurse sharks were killed by recreational spear and line fishers and in shark control programs, particularly in south eastern Australia.
This study will generate information on movements of grey nurse sharks over various spatial scales to better understand its biology and population status, both of which will assist in the effective management of the species. This will be achieved through non-invasive mark-recapture models and behavioural experiments aimed to determine the extent of which divers can impact on grey nurse shark behaviour. In summary, the research described in brief above will be used to provide the Australian east coast population from key threats to ensure this population is protected from extinction.