When you say the word “shark”, you're guaranteed to get a response. These fascinating and important apex predators have no natural enemies – other than humans.
But, have you heard of the Port Jackson Shark?
First discovered in Sydney’s Port Jackson Harbour, they are only found in southern Australian waters and nowhere else in the world. While they spend their lives in the shadows, Port Jackson Sharks are certainly worthy of the spotlight. Unfortunately, almost 90% of the world’s fish stocks are overfished. This impacts entire food chains, including apex predators like Port Jackson Sharks. Without them, whole marine ecosystems could collapse! This is bad news not only for marine wildlife, but also for the communities that rely on fisheries for their livelihoods.
In late winter to early spring Port Jackson Sharks gather together to form aggregations in the shallow reef, kelp, rock and seagrass beds to breed. Scientists from Taronga and Macquarie University have been delving into the social behavior of sharks to determine why and when large marine predators congregate, and the mysteries of their society.
After initial research at the zoo, 10 Port Jackson Sharks were released back to the wild where there transmitters are now collecting data and will do so for the next 10 years. By understanding the formation of shark aggregations and shark society we will learn how to better manage shark populations and maintain healthy marine ecosystems.
How can I help?
Taronga encourages Australians to choose Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Certified sustainable seafood for an ocean friendly future.
Currently 281 fisheries in 33 countries are certified as sustainable against the MSC standard and over 3000 seafood suppliers, distributors, and processors have committed to ensuring seafood from these fisheries can be traced from ocean to plate.
Next time you buy seafood, look out for the blue tick and choose Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified sustainable seafood!