Interesting facts about sharks.

Sharks are feared by many but how much do you actually know about them?

Understanding Sharks & Avoiding Encounters

There are many types of sharks around Australia. Most are harmless to humans. Although humans fear sharks, they are an important part of the ecosystem and a reality of the ocean. There are many things being done along the coastline to minimise shark attacks and shark activity in and around humans. There are many things you can do to minimise your risk and still be able to peacefully enjoy our beautiful beaches.

Tip #1

Avoid swimming at dawn and dusk. Sharks are most active early morning and in the late afternoon and early evening as these are their main feeding times.

sunset

Tip #2

Avoid swimming at river mouths or in murky, discoloured waters. These sorts of areas are known to be frequented by sharks. Heavy rain can also cause murky water so its best to avoid swimming until the water has had a chance to clear.

murky water

Tip #3

Avoid swimming in and around schools of baitfish. Watching large schools of fish swim together can be fun to watch but they can attract sharks to feed. It is best to avoid swimming in and around any large groups of fish.

fish school

Tip #4

Look for the signs. Lifesavers will place signs on the beach to warn visitors about hazards. If any sharks had been spotted nearby Lifesavers will place a shark sign on the beach.

shark sign

BE SHARK SMART & Enjoy NSW Beaches

Find information and resources to help you reduce the risk of a close encounter with a shark at NSW beaches and estuaries.

Did you know that Sharks are responsible for only 5 human deaths every year? Let's see how this compares to some of our other creature friends...

mosquito

Mosquitoes

Millions
snake

Snakes

100,000
crocodile

Crocodiles

1,000
cow

Cows

22
horse

Horses

20
shark

Sharks

5

Interesting facts about sharks...

  • There are over 500 known species of shark.
  • Sharks have several rows of teeth and they will go through many thousands of teeth in their lifetime.
  • Sharks have been around longer then dinosaurs and trees and said to have existed for over 400 million years.
  • Sharks have survived four mass extinctions to still exist today.
  • Sharks play a very important role in the marine ecosystem ensuring that fish populations are kept under control.
  • Many species of shark are critically endangered.

Learn how to identify sharks with this video from the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

With strong community support, the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), Surf Life Saving NSW (SLSNSW), and local SLS clubs around the State are working collaboratively to lead this world first trial to operationalise drones in NSW. This identification tool is designed to help drone pilots identify sharks from the air.

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