This project provides vital prerequisite information required to identify options for estimating white shark abundance and trends in Australia’s western population. It is designed to guide a follow-up project within the National Environmental Science Program (NESP). The current project does not, by itself, provide such an estimate of population size or trends for the west and doing so was specifically identified as being out of the project’s scope, but its goal is to identify a strategy for doing so.
The project’s objectives were to see if nursery areas for white sharks could be identified in waters west of Bass Strait, to secure existing tissue samples and to establish an ongoing shark tissue sampling program for future Close-Kin Mark-Recapture based estimates of population size.
Finding discrete nursery areas would allow techniques developed in eastern Australia for estimating population size of white sharks to be directly applied to the western population. A lack of defined nursery areas would require a modified approach to achieve this goal.