DRAFT Recovery plan for the Grey Nurse Shark (Carcharias taurus)

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, 2013

About this document

This document constitutes the draft Recovery Plan for the Grey Nurse Shark (Carcharias taurus) 2013. The recovery plan sets out the research and management actions necessary to stop the decline of, and support the recovery of, the grey nurse shark in Australian waters.

The grey nurse shark (Carcharias taurus) is listed as two separate populations under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The east coast population is listed as critically endangered and the west coast population is listed as vulnerable. In addition to the grey nurse shark listing under Commonwealth legislation, the species is protected in the coastal waters of Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia and protected in the coastal waters of New South Wales and Queensland with exemptions made for shark control programs for bather protection (e.g. beach meshing and/or drumlining)

The overarching objective of this recovery plan is to assist the recovery of the grey nurse shark in the wild, throughout its range in Australian waters, with a view to:

  • improving the population status, leading to future removal of the grey nurse shark from the threatened species list of the EPBC Act
  • ensuring that anthropogenic activities do not hinder the recovery of the grey nurse shark in the near future, or impact on the long term conservation status of the species.

An accompanying issues paper has also been developed to provide background information on the biology, population status and threats to the grey nurse shark.

The Review of the 2002 Grey Nurse Shark Recovery Plan is also provided. The review found no evidence to suggest that there had been a recovery in the grey nurse shark population and recommended that a new recovery plan be developed to remove completed actions and include new conservation priorities.