Grey nurse sharks were the first shark species to be protected by law. Grey nurse sharks are cited as being critically endangered in the Commonwealth Legislation (Australia). They are also considered endangered in New South Wales. The Queensland Government is hoping to provide a listing in the Nature Conservation Act of 1992 which will give these sharks additional protection. The National Marine Fisheries service in the United States prohibits hunting of these sharks. The IUCN lists grey nurse sharks as a vulnerable species on the red list (last evaluated in 2000). CITES does not have a listing for them, and is the most recently updated (2005). The fact that these sharks live in shallow, accessible waters, have a fierce appearance, and have a low reproductive rate, has contributed to declines in populations. Population declines worldwide are estimated at 20% in the last 10 years.
US Federal List: no special status
CITES: no special status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: critically endangered