Sharks play an important role in marine ecosystems but are facing increasing pressure from fishing and other anthropogenic
factors. Along the Queensland coast inshore waters play an important role as nursery areas for sharks. However, the same
inshore waters are also most prone to fisheries exploitation and effects of freshwater discharge from coastal streams and
rivers. This project will examine the importance of different types of inshore habitat (protected bay vs. open coastline)
and marine park zoning (open and closed to fishing), and how environmental factors such as freshwater discharge from rivers
effect how these nursery areas function. The project has two broad objectives:
A. Investigate the spatial and temporal changes in the biodiversity and abundance of sharks in inshore nursery areas along
the central GBR coast.
B. Determine the effect of environmental drivers on inshore shark biodiversity along the central GBR coast.
Results from the project will be used to improve the information available to fisheries and marine park managers on the relative
importance of inshore habitats, the role of areas closed to fishing, and the sustainability of inshore shark populations.