Progress towards a grey nurse shark breeding program

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Grey nurse shark

NSW DPI continues its significant research effort towards the development of a breeding program for the grey nurse shark.

NSW DPI senior research scientist Dr Nick Otway and biologist Megan Storrie visited the Natal Sharks Board (NSB) in South Africa to carry out detailed autopsies on 15 grey nurse sharks, obtaining numerous samples for ongoing research.

NSW DPI will sponsor one or two PhD students to carry out research related to the reproductive cycle of female grey nurse sharks at NSB in South Africa. This research will provide samples from reproductively mature females, difficult to obtain in NSW due to their threatened status.

NSW DPI research is also focusing on dwarf wobbegong (Orectolobus ornatus) as a model for the grey nurse shark.

Three further projects led by Dr Nick Otway on the ecology of grey nurse sharks have been funded by the commonwealth government as part of research outlined in the Grey Nurse Shark National Recovery Plan.

The three projects will focus on the shark’s migratory movements; localised movements at critical habitat sites, and the effects of scuba diving.

All three projects commence this month and each run for one year.

Wild Fisheries Research Unit