Western Australia is Australia's great white shark hot spot

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Western Australia is Australia's great white shark hot spot

April 04, 2018 - 22:48
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Genetic evidence suggests there are two populations of white sharks in Australia

Great White Shark ( File Photo )

According to Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), there are no reliable estimates of white shark population sizes or trends in Australian waters, but genetic evidence suggests there are two populations of white sharks in Australia: an eastern population, ranging along the eastern coast from Tasmania to central Queensland; and a western population, ranging from western Victoria to northwestern Western Australia (WA).

Abundance varies

The local abundance of white sharks in shelf and coastal waters varies from season to season and year to year due to variations in shark distribution and movement patterns.

Monitoring by CSIRO of acoustically tagged white sharks off Western Australia indicated that white sharks may be present off most of the southern and lower western coasts of WA throughout the year, although they are more likely to be encountered during spring and early summer and are least likely to be present during late summer and autumn.

The study also suggests there may be twice the number of adult great white sharks off WA's coast.

On a related note: Nova Scotia's great white shark mating hot spot

Great white sharks recently tracked in Nova Scotia waters may offer insight into the elusive mating habits of these majestic creatures. Based on the research group Ocearch's findings, shark migration patterns in Nova Scotia's southern waters are consistent with there being a breeding site in the area, according to Ocearch founder Chris Fischer, which could mark an important step towards unravelling the mysterious mating habits of great white sharks.

For scientists like Fred Whoriskey, executive director of Dalhousie University's Ocean Tracking Network, the fact that great whites come to Nova Scotia may be an indication it is a place for males and females to mingle. Fischer said the great whites are the "balance keepers" of a range reaching from Newfoundland to Florida. If the white sharks are not there, the seals can just go out and scavenge the entire region at their leisure and tend to wipe out shellfish populations and a lot of fish we count on as food sources.

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