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Seaweek 2010: Oceans of Life - ours to explore; ours to restore

Creature Features


Greynurse shark

Scientific name: Carchairias taurus
Family: Odontaspidae
Phylum: Chondricthes

A shark up to 3 metres in length and known from a range of habitats. Greynurse are pelagic and feed on a range of smaller fish such as Yellow-tail scud. There are several defined aggregation areas such as South West Rocks and other sites used during the breeding season such as Foggy Cave off the NSW coast.

At one time a common shark this animal has suffered heavily from human predation. Current estimates show a depleted population along the East Coast of Australia of just 500 individuals. Efforts are currently being made to have all greynurse breeding sites and aggregation sites declared marine parks.

Although achieving a large size greynurse have a very small gape and are not “man eaters”.


Greynurse at Foggy Cave being observed by MESA members

Ventral view of a Greynurse at South West Rocks, NSW

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Marine and Atmospheric Research


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