Great White Shark Population
Australia has two white shark populations; an eastern and western population. The estimated population is 5,460 sharks with a possible range between 2,900 and 12,802.
Study Used Statistical DNA Data
The genetic DNA collected from juvenile white sharks is used to determine how many of the juvenile sharks shared parents.
“The chances of any two juveniles in a population sharing a parent depends on how many adults are around to share the job of reproduction,” lead author of the paper, Dr Richard Hillary of CSIRO said.
“In a small population, more juveniles share a parent than in a large population, and vice versa.”
This is great news for the species that is designated as vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Great White Shark Population At Risk
The IUCN Red List notes that white sharks are most often shown in a negative light by the media. Media outlets typically show only lethal interactions with humans and as a consequence creates “shark attack” paranoia.
The Great White shark is very curious and will often approach boats and scavenge from fishermen. This behavior puts them at risk from drum lines, nets and being killed by fishermen as a nuisance.
The white shark’s status as a legendary “big fish” makes it a target for sport-fishermen who seek to have it as a trophy.
In South Africa a set of white shark jaws sells for $20,000 – $50,000 and teeth for at least $600 each. The black market for white shark jaws, teeth and fins puts pressure on the species which takes between 15-20 years to reach sexual maturity.
Great White Shark Population Protected
Recent conservation efforts around the world have helped the Great White Shark population. Great White sharks are protected in their largest natural habitats.
With education and positive media we can all work together to protect this beautiful apex predator and ensure the stability of our oceans.