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Total Confirmed Unique Individuals in Spot a Shark Database


Total Unique Individuals sighted in previous 15 years (2007+)

Approx. 1100

Total Unique Individuals sighted in last 10 years (2013+)


Sightings can be few and far between for some individuals. About a quarter of the shark individuals captured within our database have been sighted more than once and across multiple locations. Some individual sharks within the have been recorded travelling up and down the coast of Australia multiple times over large geographical areas, spanning more than 1000km from end to end.  

Recent evidence suggests that whilst numbers of sharks may appear to be increasing, the overall health of the East Coast population is reducing and affecting mortality rates.

All line fishing methods that use hooks have the potential to harm grey nurse sharks. Aside from the countless sightings of these sharks with hooks in their gills, mouth and eyes, autopsies of grey nurse sharks found that hooks can become embedded in the throat and stomach, and can puncture the shark’s large liver. This can lead to bacterial infection, septicaemia (blood poisoning) and ultimately death, and is the largest known source of human-induced mortality of the species.


If you would like to participate in surveys, or donate money towards population surveys please contact to learn more about how to help.

The best method is for divers and Dive Shops to encourage photographers to submit photos here or share photos to to help us continue this study.

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