Preliminary Data about Habitat Use of Subadult and Adult White Sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) in Eastern Australian Waters.
In eastern Australia, white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) are targeted in shark control programs, yet the movement of subadults and adults of the eastern Australasian population is poorly understood. To investigate horizontal and vertical movement and habitat use in this region, MiniPAT pop-up satellite archival tags were deployed on three larger white sharks (340-388 cm total length) between May 2021 and January 2022. All sharks moved away from the coast after release and displayed a preference for offshore habitats. The upper < 50 m of the water column and temperatures between 14-19 °C were favoured, with a diel pattern of vertical habitat use evident as deeper depths were occupied during the day and shallower depths at night. Horizontal movement consisted of north-south seasonality interspersed with periods of residency. Very little information is available for adult white sharks in eastern Australia and studies like this provide key baseline information for their life history. Importantly, the latitudinal range achieved by white sharks illuminate the necessity for multijurisdictional management to effectively mitigate human-shark interactions whilst supporting conservation efforts of the species.
Peer reviewed: True
Funder: New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Australia