IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category Year Assessed
Near Threatened Red List Criteria Version
Pollard, D., Gordon, I., Williams, S., Flaherty, A. & McAuley, R. Reviewer/s
Shark Specialist Group Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003, participants (Shark Red List Authority) Justification
Grey nurse sharks have never been targeted in Western Australia (WA). The only significant source of mortality has been from incidental capture by a demersal gillnet fishery. Based on data from this fishery, the west coast population of C. taurus
is assessed as Near Threatened because mean annual catches of 77 sharks, in conjunction with a stable CPUE, indicate that the subpopulation is larger and more stable than the eastern subpopulation, and aggregation sites are not known within the range of this fishery. However, these data are only available for 1989–1997, when the species was protected under the Endangered Species Protection Act and commercial catch reporting ceased. Due to the loss of this established index of abundance, the limited reproductive capacity of C. taurus
and the precarious status of the eastern subpopulation, it is recognized that the western subpopulation still has the potential to become Vulnerable in the future. Even low levels of bycatch may lead to population declines in a species with such a low intrinsic rate of increase. There is a need to develop the means to monitor the abundance of these sharks in WA and conduct further research into their ecology.