DISCOVER SHARKS

Sharks have lived in our oceans for over 400 million years. Well before even the dinosaurs roamed the earth! 

They're perfectly adapted to their environment. And can be found in almost every marine ecosystem on earth. Some can even survive in freshwater!


ALL SHAPES & SIZES

The world of sharks is incredibly diverse. From tiny Pygmy Lantern Sharks that glow in the dark. To impressive filter-feeding Whale Sharks that can grow up to 17m long. Epaulette Sharks that use their fins to walk over coral reefs. And bizarre-looking Tasselled Wobbegong with their elaborate camouflage. The list goes on and on.

Worldwide there are over 500 species of shark, 600 skates and rays and 50 chimaera. All unique and amazing in their own ways! Great or small, charismatic or strange - we love them all. And work tirelessly to protect them.

Epaulette Shark © Alex Mustard

Epaulette Sharks use their pectoral fins to ‘walk’ over the reef.

Hammerhead Shark © Jillian Morris

The unusual shape of this sharks head allows it to see 360°.

Zebra Shark © Leolin Grower

Juvenile Zebra Sharks have black stripes, which become spots as they mature.

Port Jackson Shark © Taso Viglas

These sharks reproduce by laying corkscrew shaped eggcases that they wedge in rock crevices.

Whale Shark © Andy Botten

The biggest fish in the sea can grow up to 17m long!

Blue Shark © Terry Goss

This dazzling blue shark undertakes long-distance migrations.

Whitetip Reef Sharks © Ofer Ketter

Whitetip Reef Sharks tend to rest during the day but come out at night to hunt.

Raggedtooth Shark © Dray van Beeck

Also called the Sandtiger or Grey Nurse Shark, these sharks can often be seen in aquariums.

White Shark © Sean Sequeira

The infamous White Shark can be found in temperate seas all over the world.

Wobbegong © Andy Murch

Master of disguise - this shark camouflages itself against the reefs, where it lies in wait for prey.

Sevengill Shark © Peter de Maagt

These sharks have two extra sets of gills compared to most other sharks that only have five.

Lemon Shark © Vignaud Thomas

Female Lemon Sharks give birth to pups in shallow sheltered nursery grounds.


 


WHY ARE SHARKS IMPORTANT?

Without sharks marine eco-systems face an uncertain future. As do, the many human communities and economies that depend on them.

Diverse shark populations are important for:

  • HEALTHY OCEANS - Many shark species are apex predators. So, like wolves and lions on land, they play a key role in maintaining the delicate balance of the ocean. They do this by keeping other populations in check and preying on the sick and old. Preventing the spread of disease and helping improve the gene pool.
     
  • THE ECONOMY - Ecotourism is a growing industry. Research shows that sharks are worth a lot more alive than dead. A single live reef shark could generate $73 a day - more than $200,000 in its lifetime. Fisheries too provide jobs and income for communities. But these livelihoods can only be sustained long term by fishing sustainably.
     
  • OUR WELL-BEING - Research shows that experiencing nature improves our well-being. And sharks are an integral part of our natural world. We want future generations to be able to enjoy sharks as a vital part of healthy oceans.

SHARKS UNDER THREAT

Perfectly adapted to their environment, sharks have survived 5 mass extinctions. Yet, today, many species are under threat due to human pressure. Almost 1/4 of all shark species worldwide are now threatened with extinction. That makes them one of the most endangered groups of animals on our planet!


HOW CAN YOU HELP?

Safeguarding a future for sharks is key to keeping our ocean's healthy and teeming with life.

► Visit our Get Involved page to find out about all the ways you can help shark conservation.