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John West

John West was a former Manager of Life Sciences Operations at Taronga and Taronga Western Plains Zoos. He has been the Curator of the Australian Shark Attack File supported by the Taronga Conservation Society Australia (TCSA) for the last 30 years.

John started his career in the Taronga Zoo Aquarium in 1966 and has been studying sharks for over 40 years. As the Supervisor of the Aquarium in 1980 he developed the Australian Shark Attack File (ASAF) to help him understand more about shark attacks in Australia. His work in analysing shark attacks has assisted governments and general public at large to better understand the interactions between shark and man.

John initiated the original Sharks Down Under, International Shark Conservation Conference hosted at Taronga Zoo in 1991 and has been involved with the conservation of sharks over many years. He was honoured in the 2005 Queen’s Birthday Honours list when he was awarded the Public Service Medal for his work with the Australian Shark Attack File and his contribution to shark conservation. John is a member of the IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group, a member of the American Elasmobranch Society (AES) and sits on the International Shark Attack Committee of the AES.