Grey nurse shark
Sharks are found throughout the world but their populations are declining every day.
This has led to protection of some species. One of the first shark species to be protected was the Grey nurse shark (Carcharias taurus).
The biology, distribution and conservation of this species are dealt with in the following paragraphs with a main focus on Australia as it was here it first became protected.
Conservation status in Australia
The Grey Nurse shark is one of the most critically endangered shark species and believed to be the first protected shark in the world. It was declared ‘vulnerable’ in the waters of New South Wales (Australia) in 1984 and later throughout the world. In 1996 the species was listed globally ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and declared ‘vulnerable’ in Commonwealth waters of Australia.
According to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act 1999) it is believed that there are two separate populations of Grey Nurse shark in Australia. The population in the east coast is listed as ‘critically endangered’ whereas the west coast population is listed as ‘vulnerable’ under the EPBC Act (1999)
The Grey Nurse sharks are also protected under the Fisheries Legislation in New South Wales, Western Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland. In the Northern Territory the species is classified as ‘data deficient’ by the Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act (2000)NTG.
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