There are many different kinds of sharks in Australian waters. The waters around Australia are full of different kinds of life because they are close to three of the five major oceans, which are the Pacific, Southern & Indian oceans.
Are there sharks in Australian waters?
The short answer is yes. It is quite common to find sharks in Australian waters.
How many sharks in Australian waters?
There are about 400 species of sharks in the world. Around 180 of these species—of which about 70 are thought to be endemic—occur in Australian waters.
Sharks can be found in all types of habitats along the Australian coast, but they are most frequently found on the bottom of the continental shelf or slope.
What sharks live in Australian waters? Here are the common types of sharks in Australian waters:
Grey Reef Shark
The Grey Reef Sharks lives along Australia’s northern coast and hunts near the Great Barrier Reef. It is a type of Memorial Shark that can get as long as 8.5 feet (2.6 meters) and weigh as much as 74 pounds (33.7 kg). The Grey Reef Shark is a medium-sized shark, but it is a very aggressive hunter.
It often scares other sharks away from its hunting grounds by making threats. Even though they’re mean, they’re surprisingly friendly. During the day, they hunt in groups of up to 20 sharks. Bottlenose Dolphins, Silky Sharks, and Sailfish also has a history of hunting with them.
Wobbegong Sharks live off the Western Coast of Australia. They are bottom-dwelling sharks with a very strange look. The yellow and brown spots and stripes on their skin help them blend in with the seafloor. Their bodies are long and flat. They also have beards on their chins that look like seaweed or coral.
Tiger Shark simply lay on the ocean floor most of the time and wait for fish to swim by carrying food. They are powerful ambush predators that strike quickly with a powerful suction force and grab their prey with their sharp teeth when it approaches.
Zebra Sharks live along Australia’s northern and eastern coasts. They got their name because, when they were first born, their dark brown stripes resembled those of a zebra. However, as they grew older, these stripes began to disappear, leaving their bodies covered in spots that are now yellow and light brown.
Zebra sharks are 8.2 feet long on average (2.5 m). They pair off during the warm months, and the females then lay strange-looking eggs that are affixed to coral reefs by fibers. A female Zebra Shark has also been demonstrated to be capable of procreation without a male.
Great White Shark
The Great White Sharks that live there and cruise the coastlines in search of food and mates may be Australia’s most famous inhabitants. The largest predatory sharks in the ocean are great white sharks. They typically measure between 15 and 16 feet (4.57 and 4.88 meters) in length and weigh 1,151 and 1,700 pounds (522-771 kg). The Great White Shark is a strong hunter with quick swimming and jumping abilities.
But in the last few years, Great White Sharks have not been safe in the waters of Australia. After a number of shark attacks, the government of Australia started a practice called “shark culling” to keep sharks from swimming near the ocean. Many Great White Sharks died because of this method of killing sharks.
People in Australia asked their government to stop killing Great White Sharks because they are an endangered and respected species. However, the number of Great White Sharks in Australia has not yet recovered.
Great Hammerhead Shark
Great Hammerhead Sharks live in shallow coastal waters along the eastern, western, and northern coasts of Australia. They are the biggest Hammerhead Sharks. They can grow up to 14 feet (4.4 meters) long and weigh up to 1,280 pounds (580 kg). The Great Hammerhead Shark also has the biggest hammerhead of all the Hammerhead Sharks.
The length of its hammerhead, from tail to tip, is between 23% and 27% of the length of its whole body. The Great Hammerhead Shark is unique from other Hammerheads in that it almost never hunts in groups and is almost never seen doing so. They thrive close to coral reefs because they consume a variety of foods, including bony fish, other sharks, crustaceans, and cephalopods.
The waters off Australia’s eastern, western, and northern coasts are home to Tiger Sharks. Described as very large sharks that can reach lengths of 10 to 13 feet (3.25–4.25 m) and weights of 849 to 1,400 pounds (385-635 kg). They will hunt in both shallow and deep water close to the coast because they are predators that hunt where they can find food.
Tiger sharks are sometimes called “the trashcans of the sea” because they eat almost anything, even things that aren’t food. It eats fish, crustaceans, seabirds, sea mammals, sea snakes, sharks, cephalopods, dolphins, whales, sea turtles, shellfish, and pretty much anything else they can get their mouths on in the ocean.
Unfortunately, their large appetites and wide range of tastes get them into trouble with people. Tiger Sharks are one of the three sharks that are most likely to bite people out of curiosity.
Whale Sharks move around a lot, but when they are looking for food, they will swim along the northern coast of Australia. Known as the biggest sharks on the planet. On average, they grow to 41.5 feet (2.65 meters) long and weigh 47,000 pounds (21.5 t). People have heard that They can grow even bigger, so they may get even bigger.
This huge shark is lucky because it is a calm filter-feeder that glides around the ocean eating tiny zooplankton. Since they are so calm, and have even been known to play with divers, swimming with Whale Sharks in the Ningaloo Reef and around Christmas Island is a very popular thing to do in Western Australia.
Bull Sharks can move easily between freshwater and saltwater, making them a very dangerous threat in rivers, harbors, and lakes near the coast. It can swim in both freshwater and saltwater because they can control how much salt is in their blood. This makes it hard to guess how many of them there are.
There are probably more than 500 bull sharks in the Brisbane River alone, according to estimates. They have a reputation for being aggressive, but they can also bite to find out what’s going on. But because their teeth are so sharp and their bite is stronger than the Great White’s pound for pound, they often do a lot of damage.
Bull sharks have one to thirteen babies at a time. The species is in danger because people have a direct effect on them and on their habitat.
Where is the most attacked area by sharks in Australian waters?
According to Chapman’s study, Australia has the second-highest number of unprovoked shark bites in the world. The ISAF says that there have been 139 shark bites since 2007, 15 of which were fatal.
Most of the attacks have happened near New South Wales, which is the state where Bondi Beach is. In 2015, a large shark got in the way of a group of swimmers taking underwater pictures in Bondi.
How frequently does attacks by sharks in Australian waters occur?
A lot of people in Australia worry that sharks will attack them. But shark attacks that end in death don’t happen very often in Australian waters. In the last 50 years, 53 people have died in shark attacks, which is about one death per year. You can view more information at the Australian Shark Incident Database.
Is it safe to swim or surf with the existence of sharks in Australian waters?
There are some easy, commonsense things you can do to lower the chance of getting attacked by a shark. This advice on reducing risks comes from the Australian Shark Attack File.
- Surf Life Savers watch over beaches where you can swim.
- Don’t swim, dive, or surf in places where sharks are known to be dangerous.
- Swim, dive, or surf with other people at all times.
- Do not swim in dirty or turbid water.
- Don’t swim too far out to sea, near deep channels, at river mouths, or along places where the water gets deeper.
- If schooling fish start to act strangely or gather in large groups, you should get out of the water.
- Do not swim with pets or animals you keep at home.
- Before you jump into the water from a boat or wharf, take a good look around.
- Do not swim at dusk or at night.
- Do not swim near people who are fishing or spear fishing.
Because the oceans around Australia have so many different kinds of ecosystems, the area has a lot of different kinds of living things. Whale Sharks, which are the largest sharks in the world, and Wobbegongs, which look very strange, are among these sharks. Australia is a great place to see the many different kinds of sharks that live in our oceans.