Funding Cycle: 
National Environmental Science Program

Research to support the conservation and recovery of Australia’s threatened and migratory marine species will support recovery plans for euryhaline and white sharks, quantify the national ship strike risk to whales, assess the management of human-shark interactions, and examine national instruments such as the Commonwealth marine reserve network for their effect on species’ recovery.

Acoustic telemetry, genetic and statistical analyses are being applied to assess the status, distribution and management of euryhaline sharks in Northern Australia, an approach that has been extended to assess population status and supporting monitoring programs for white sharks. Population estimates for Australia’s eastern white shark population will be refined, and the first estimates of adult population size for the western population will be determined.

Data on biology, ecology and interactions with fisheries are being collated to define the state of knowledge on hammerhead sharks. The information will support conceptual models of shark population structure to refine the status of Australian hammerhead shark populations, and help to prioritise future research.

A national workshop to determine research priorities for sharks is the first in a series of national workshops to determine research priorities to support recovery planning and management decisions for threatened and migratory marine species.

A long-term aerial survey of right whales off southern Australia is charting their recovery and providing a basis for monitoring the effects of environmental change. Identifying photographs add clues to how the whales live and breed. In the longer-term, the survey results will help scientists evaluate the effects of changes occurring in the oceans around Antarctica.

Image: Between May and October, Australian right whales migrate from higher latitude feeding grounds to calving and nursery grounds in coastal Australian waters. Image: Andrew Halsall, WA Museum