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Understanding sharks

Sharks deserve our respect, and a healthy understanding of these animals will help alleviate your fear and show you there is much more to these creatures than meets the eye.

Understanding sharks

Sharks deserve our respect, and a healthy understanding of these animals will help alleviate your fear and show you there is much more to these creatures than meets the eye.

— OVERVIEW —

Getting to know sharks

Most people’s interactions with sharks are through media and the movies, where they are more often than not depicted as something to be deeply feared. When we think about sharks, it’s important to recognise that our understanding of them might be skewed. Sharks are not out to attack humans, nor are they lurking at our beaches, rather they are important parts of our ocean ecosystem that deserve our concern.

“An ocean without sharks is much scarier than an ocean with them.”

Dr. Greg Stunz, Professor of Marine Biology
HSI Sharks
— Understanding Sharks —

Grey nurse shark

Possibly the most misunderstood shark of them all, the Grey Nurse Shark was driven to the brink of extinction on the east coast of Australia due to public fear.

Despite its toothy grin, it is not aggressive and is frequently encountered by divers. It remains one of the most threatened sharks in Australia and is classified as Critically Endangered on the east coast and Vulnerable to extinction on the west coast.

HSI Sharks
— Understanding Sharks —

Rays

Did you know that rays are close cousins of sharks? Though their mouths and gills are located on the underside of their bodies, they have the same cartilage skeletons as sharks and share many of the same sensory features.

All rays, including manta rays, sting rays and skates, are thought to have evolved from sharks. Australia is a biodiversity hotspot for rays and skates, with 125 species in our waters; more than half of which are found no where else.

HSI Sharks
— Understanding Sharks —

Misjudged

Queensland’s shark control program targets 19 species of shark, including five species that have never been recorded to bite a human in history. These are the Australian Blacktip, Bignose Shark, Longfin Mako, Pigeye Whaler and Silvertip Shark, which are shot dead according to the current Queensland Government policy.

This is the most extreme example of human misunderstanding of sharks in Australia.

— Why sharks need help —

Issues facing sharks

Learn more about the issues facing sharks in Australia and how you can help become a conservation champion for their protection.

— SUPPORT SHARKS —

Will you help?

Please join us as a Shark Champion. You can support the conservation of sharks by signing one of our petitions or donating financially.

Be a Champion