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Shark Know How


Known Dangerous Sharks.

There are over 510 species of shark worldwide and 182 of these sharks have been found in Australian waters (as of 2010), but only a handful are known to be dangerous to humans.

Latest Figures

The Australian Shark Attack File (ASAF) is the most comprehensive database on shark attacks and has a long-term scientific documented database containing information on all known Australian encounters that meet the criteria for inclusion. Initiated in 1984, the ASAF currently has more than 970 individual investigations housed on the File, covering the period 1791 to the present (as of last update).

Australian Shark Attack File

The general worldwide trend towards more intense utilisation of coastal marine waters for recriational activities has also increased the chances of shark-human interactions with a resulting increase in the number of reported shark encounters. As the population of Australia increases, many more people are entering coastal waters for recreational throughout the year.

Population increase since 1900:

1900 = 3.7 million
1950 = 8.3 million
1990= 17 million
2011 = 22.7 million

2014 = 23.5 million

Nutritional Physiology

It is obvious that without appropriate nutrition, animals will not maintain a high standard of health, reproduction and well-being. A great deal of research has been undertaken to understand the nutritional requirements of wildlife species, and the health of these species in zoos indicates these diets are adequate.

Terrestrial Ecology

Biodiversity is the engine of life. We rely heavily on plant and animal species to play specific roles within an ecosystem, which provides valuable services for all wildlife and people. The global value of these ecological services has been estimated at $33-54 trillion/year. But it is also estimated that we lose $2-5 trillion each year in ecological services due to environmental degradation and biodiversity loss.

The five primary threatening processes are:

Marine Science Centre

Three quarters of the Australian population lives within 50km of the coast and we take over 100,000 tonnes of seafood from the sea each year. The ocean is a great point of recreation, but much of our society’s waste also ends up there. This interdependent relationship is also difficult to manage as most of the impacts are unseen or seen only after a significant delay. Our staff engage in research to better understand marine biology, marine fauna needs and how the human and marine communities interact.