In early 2018, the CSIRO provided the first estimate of abundance for the southern-western adult white shark. Establishing an estimate of total abundance was not possible due to the lack of information of the juvenile life history stage in south-western Australia. The estimate of adult abundance also included trend (essentially zero or slightly negative), however, it was noted that to confirm the trend, a further decade of sampling would be required. This can be reduced if we identify near-shore habitats where juvenile white sharks from the southern-western population can be readily accessed.

This pilot project will investigate credible anecdotal evidence of juvenile white sharks using near-shore habitat near the head of the Great Australia Bight, and inform future project development steps. The pilot project will include collaboration and the opportunity for capacity building with the Yatala Land Management group. The outcome of this pilot project will inform whether or not to proceed to future (on-water) activities.

Image:  Juvenile white sharks frequent inshore regions where they may be observed with drones. Observations of juveniles as well as adult white sharks have been made around the Head of the Great Australian Bight. Image: Dirk Holman.