Research and other NSW DPI activities
The Dept of Primary Industries works with the commercial and recreational fishing sectors to improve identification and management of key shark species. Many of the resources produced for these fishers are equally fascinating for people with a general interest in the sharks found off our NSW coast.
A guide designed to assist fisherman to identify sharks and rays and monitor their catch is a great read. The guide features illustrations and descriptions of sharks and rays potentially caught in NSW waters and is a valuable resource for anyone with an interest in these creatures.
Grey nurse sharks are listed as endangered, with NSW DPI keen to ensure community understanding, particularly fishers and divers, about the habitat of these sharks and efforts to protect them.
More information is also available for the:
- Angel shark
- Blue shark
- Bronze whaler
- Great white shark, including a fact sheet
- Grey nurse shark, including a fact sheet
- Gummy shark
- Hammerhead shark
- Herbsts nurse shark
- Mako shark
- School shark
- Tiger shark
- Wobbegong shark
The Australian Museum (australianmuseum.net.au) also maintains a list of species, including some photographs.
Shark research initiatives and scientists
NSW DPI researchers are working on a range of projects to ensure the sustainability of our state's wild fisheries.
Research is focused on three main areas of:
- fisheries technology (for example, assessing the impacts of the fishing tackle and gear used by commercial and recreational fishers);
- fisheries biology (including the age, growth, reproduction, movements and habitats of key species); and
- fisheries assessments (for example, providing scientific advice on the catch limits of species including some sharks).
A range of projects is currently underway relating to sharks, including:
- bite force and feeding behaviour of great white sharks;
- data capture and analysis for the NSW Shark Meshing Program;
- investigating impacts of divers on grey nurse sharks, Maroubra;
- investigating the behavioural responses of grey nurse sharks to recreational lures and baited lines;
- molecular forensics on sharks;
- movements and biology of coastal sharks in NSW;
- survey of commercial shark fishing off NSW;
- wobbegong shark movements in NSW marine protected areas.
See wild fisheries current projects for the complete list of our wild fisheries scientists and their projects.
Scientific papers and studies
Our fisheries scientists publish a range of papers each year. Papers published so far in 2009 range from how best to release juvenile snapper through the growth of spiny lobster and using strong magnets to reduce shark bycatch in commercial fishing.
For more information refer to our shark publication page.
Facilities, partnerships and researchers
The NSW Government, through the Dept of Primary Industries, has significantly invested in facilities for shark research.
At Port Stephens, $700,000 state-of-the-art laboratory is being used in efforts to increase populations of the endangered grey nurse shark. In a world first, NSW Government scientists have successfully transferred late stage wobbegong embryos into an artificial uterus.
Our staff collaborate with universities and other research bodies on a range of projects and initiatives, including in the development of models on the bite of a great white.