Exploring the status of Australia’s hammerhead sharks

Hammerhead sharks are the focus of conservation management in Australian waters as the result of recent listing on CITES and CMS. However, the state of knowledge of hammerhead sharks in Australia requires further exploration. Data on hammerhead interactions with fisheries, life history and ecology have been gathered to address this need. Data revealed significant gaps in areas sampled and limited understanding of the dynamics of species presence/distribution relative to habitat features or environmental conditions. Use of different habitats by different sex or size groups makes refining the distribution and abundance of hammerhead species difficult. Collected data were used to construct a series of conceptual models of population structure of hammerhead sharks in Australia and adjacent countries. This exercise revealed an urgent need to define connectivity of hammerhead shark populations within and beyond Australia to ensure management can be applied at the appropriate scope and scale.

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