World Surf League/AAP
Many surfers have seen sharks while surfing in the ocean. Yet, unlike the general public, 60% are not afraid of sharks. It’s a finding that offers an insight into attitudes to shark conservation.
AAP/Charles Darwin University
As authorities grapple with the best way to respond to the tragedy, it’s worth remembering all shark mitigation measures come with both merits and drawbacks – and none is a silver bullet.
The ‘SharkSmart’ approach, adopted by the Queensland government, aims to educate people to take responsibility for reducing shark bite risk by changing their own behaviour. But can humans change?
Elias Levy/Wikimedia Commons
The death of 57-year-old Paul Millachip at Fremantle’s Port Beach is a reminder that shark bites, though rare, can be tragic. New research aims to reduce the risk by understanding sharks’ vision.
A painting for the U.S. Army’s Stars and Stripes newspaper shows a downed pilot fending off sharks with a knife.
Ed Vebell/Getty Images
As part of the nation’s massive wartime mobilization effort, millions of Americans, for the first time, traveled abroad – where many had their first encounters with the marine predators.
From working on Jaws to putting herself in danger, Valerie Taylor vowed to change public attitudes to sharks. A new film dives deeply into her underwater life.
You’re more likely to drown at a beach than be killed by a shark. But there are things people can do to reduce the already low risk even further.
New research says there is no reliable evidence that shark nets protect swimmers.
Weeks out from summer, new research says there is no evidence shark nets keep us safe from sharks.
AAP Image/Sea Shepherd Australia
Queensland can no longer cull sharks in protected areas of the Great Barrier Reef, but it’s time to move away from culls, nets and drumlines altogether. There are better ways to keep our beaches safe.
Many of Australia’s beaches are now being monitored for shark safety by drones.
Drones are now being used to warn beachgoers about sharks – with groundbreaking accuracy.
The Meg: Jaws, but considerably larger.
The latest scary shark film, The Meg, opens this week. But fictionalised tales of monster fish blind us to the important role sharks play in maintaining the health of our oceans.
The CSIRO has provided new estimates of population sizes for White Sharks in Australian waters.
How many shark encounters have there been at your local beach? Explore our interactive map to see 20 years of incidents between humans and sharks in coastal waters around Australia.
Estimating shark numbers is extremely difficult and very contentious.
New research has used genetic analysis in a world-first effort to accurately estimate Australian and New Zealand white shark numbers.
Interactions between sharks and humans happen in a variety of places. That means reducing conflict needs different interventions.
White sharks’ ability to stay warm in cold water makes them efficient long-range hunters.
Fatal shark bites are very rare. But the stats do suggest that the likelihood of an attack proving fatal is higher in Australia - probably because our waters are home to the “big three” dangerous species.
A shark’s nose is chemosensory only, and it doesn’t join up to the back of the throat like ours does.
Sharks can’t sneeze like we do, but they can do other cool tricks – like making their stomach stick out of their mouth to get rid of unwanted stuff.
How risky is it to swim?
We naturally overestimate the risk of rare events, like shark attacks or terrorism. But there are things you can do to think more rationally about the real risk.
You’re far more likely to drown in the water than get killed by a shark, so why are we more afraid of the latter?
A Stanford professor developed a handy way of estimating and comparing our risk of death from various events – the micromort.
Helicopters hover over Bondi Beach after spotting a shark.
AAP Image/NEWZULU/TOM CASKA
LIfeguards could potentially have a new ally in the fight to reduce shark incidents: drones that can spot when a shark swims nearby, and automatically alert authorities.
Shelly Beach near Ballina, one of the new shark net locations, was the scene of a fatal shark attack in February 2015.
Shark nets are controversial, which is why the New South Wales government is investigating a host of other ways to keep humans and sharks apart – some more tried and tested than others.