Research conducted through the NSW Shark Management Strategy PhD and Postdoc Program looks in to shark biology and ecology, to inform the NSW Government on future shark safety measures.

Partner organisation: University of Queensland

This project will allow temporal comparisons of large numbers of genes to provide estimates for effective population size, the genetic basis of adaptation, population connectivity and gene flow between white shark populations on a global scale.

Partner organisation: University of Sydney

This project will combine stomach content analysis, proximate composition analysis, stable isotope analysis, biologging technologies and nutritional modelling, to investigate the foraging and nutritional ecology of White Sharks in NSW coastal waters. The nutritional goals of White Sharks will be assessed to establish the prey composition and realised nutritional niches of White Sharks and examine the potential role of energy and macronutrients in prey selection.

Partner organisation: Southern Cross University

The disposal of stranded whale carcasses is a logistic challenge with implication on the local community and the environment. Burial is commonly used as a disposal strategy globally. A whale beach burial is likely to be a source of pollution, which has a significant and long lasting influence on groundwater chemistry. Recently it has been suggested that whale burials leach products that may influence shark behaviour and increase attraction to beaches containing burial sites. This project will use field and laboratory experiments to test the hypothesis of whether the leachate of contaminated groundwater can attract sharks to the surf.

Partner organisation: The Sydney Institute of Marine Sciences

This project will review the scientific literature on environmental conditions affecting shark abundance and distribution; obtain biotic and abiotic data of relevance to assessing factors affecting abundance, distribution and movements of potentially dangerous sharks; evaluate and model relevant oceanographic and biological data; and develop a decision support tool to better manage the risk of shark encounters.

Shark Management Strategy annual grant funded projects

The NSW Government Shark Management Strategy has provided annual competitive grants to innovative shark safety approaches at our beaches.

Using “shark-cam” to unravel shark behaviour

Partner organisation: The University of Sydney

This study attempted to test a specialised “shark-cam” (PDF, 308.96 KB) to better understand the behaviour of potentially dangerous sharks when they are in near-shore regions. It involved trying to attach a specialised small cameras to tagged sharks to help develop understanding of what sharks do in shallow inshore waters where they might interact with humans.