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CSIRO White shark research
CSIRO white shark research aims to assist the management of human interactions with this species in Australian waters, a complex challenge combining the interests of public safety, commercial and recreational fishing, tourism and conservation.
White sharks are of national and international conservation significance. They are protected in Australian waters under fisheries and threatened species legislation and are the subject of state agency shark response plans due to their high profile and potential threat to public safety. They also interact with tourism enterprises and commercial and recreational fishing operations.
These interactions raise issues of bycatch reduction, the ecosystem effects of white shark removal, industry and public safety, and the potential effects of attracting and conditioning white sharks to encounters with humans. These issues can have considerable implications for the management of these activities and for white shark conservation.
Outcomes of the research will help establish appropriate responses to white shark interactions and identify the implications of actions by all sectors
Information on the status and behaviour of white sharks in southern Australia, however, is limited and often speculative. The overall objective of CSIRO white shark research is to provide a rational and pragmatic management framework through data collection, analysis and integrated modelling initiatives.
The research is conducted throughout Australian waters. It involves tagging studies, collection of biological data from sharks taken as bycatch in fisheries or in shark control programs, establishing regional indices of abundance to monitor shark activity and populations and developing ecosystem models that portray white shark and prey interactions.
The research aims to establish:
Outcomes of the research will help establish appropriate responses to white shark interactions and identify the implications of actions by all sectors. They also will provide direct advice on minimising risks to people, fishing operations and white sharks themselves.
CSIRO white shark research supports the National White Shark Recovery Plan and addresses priority actions listed in Australia's National Plan of Action (sharks). It also helps Australia to meet international obligations under treaties including the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS).
CSIRO white shark research is collaborative with several Australian research and management agencies including Western Australian Fisheries, the South Australian Research and Development Institute, Department of Primary Industries and Resources, South Australia, Marine and Freshwater Resources Institute, Primary Industries, Water and Environment Tasmania, New South Wales Fisheries, Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries. CSIRO also works with international institutions on white shark research.