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— Overview —

Shark Facts & Ecosystems

Sharks are one of Nature’s incredible success stories. Having lived on the Earth for approximately 450 million years, sharks have survived five of Earth’s major extinctions which wiped out between 75% and 96% of life. It’s only now, in the past ~100 years, have sharks faced the threat of extinction. One of the most important shark facts is that they're critical to our ocean ecosystems.

Healthy oceans need sharks. Sharks are considered ‘keystone’ species meaning that without them, the ecosystems around them could become unstable and face possible collapse.

“For years, we thought the oceans were so vast and the inhabitants so infinitely numerous that nothing we could do, could have an effect upon them. But now we know that was wrong. The oceans are under threat now as never before in human history.”

Sir David Attenborough
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Tiger Shark Facts

Sharks typically occupy the top of the food chain and not only keep populations in check through predation but also because of how they affect the behaviour of other animals in an ecosystem.

For example, a cruising Tiger Shark is enough to keep dugongs on alert and limit the amount of time they spend eating seagrass. What’s even more amazing, is that Tiger Sharks are helping us combat climate change by protecting seagrass, a key carbon store of the oceans. Learning these facts about sharks makes it critical to action change.

Without sharks, the Great Barrier Reef and other incredible marine habitats in Australia will likely face irreparable change. Sharks are needed for the ocean’s survival, and ultimately ours. Join our preservation cause and learn about sharks by becoming a shark champion.

Australia is a shark and ray hotspot with one quarter of their known species found in Australian waters. Half of Australia’s 322 shark and ray species are endemic which means they are found nowhere else in the world. Shark facts like this mean that Australia has a responsibility to lead the way in marine preservation. Learn about sharks and become a shark champion today.

  • 39%

    of Australia’s shark species endemic
  • 69%

    of Australia’s Ray species endemic
  • 39%

    of Australia’s shark species endemic
  • 69%

    of Australia’s Ray species endemic
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— Learn About Sharks —

Ecosystem partnerships

Sharks and rays love a beauty treatment. Manta Rays, Reef Sharks and Hammerheads visit ‘cleaning stations’ in the Great Barrier Reef where fish called Cleaner Wrasse pick off scraps and parasites from the gills and teeth of their ‘client’.

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— Diversity and balance —

Sharks Maintain Diversity

Shark and ray species exhibit unique qualities that ensure balance and species diversity is maintained within the marine ecosystem.

For example, the Epaulette Shark of the Great Barrier Reef uses its fins to ‘walk’ across exposed reefs going from rockpool to rockpool to find food. If you’d like more Shark facts like this, sign up to become a shark champion and support our oceans.

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Australian Shark Facts

Australia’s sharks are record breakers. There’s a lot to appreciate for the role and ability shark and ray species bring to the marine ecosystem.

The Whale Shark is the world’s largest fish measuring up to 12 m

The Shortfin Mako is the world’s fastest shark clocking up speeds of up to 74 km/h

A Great White Shark called ‘Nicole’ holds the record for the fastest, long-distance travel by a shark – a return trip of over 20,000 km to Australia from South Africa in just 9 months.

Learn about sharks in Australia & help us petition for change by becoming a Shark Champion.

— Why sharks need help —

More about sharks

Learn more about sharks and the issues they're facing in Australia. Learn how you can help become a conservation champion for their protection, and ultimately ours.


Will you help?

Please join us as a Shark Champion. Learn shark facts and you can support the conservation of sharks by signing one of our petitions or donating financially.

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