Human-shark relations

Redefining the human-shark relationship in Australia

For millions of years sharks have swum through native waters, and dating back to Aboriginal carvings, sharks have represented a threat in the human imaginary. The recent opposition to shark culling in Australia represents a leading tip of the international “Save the Shark” movement. This project aims to devise long-term public education tools and policy options to redefine the human-shark relationship in Australia. The project will:

  • Investigate Australian’s attitudes and views of shares as native species, beach hazard, and conservation target affect policymaking.
  • Analyse how public education can facilitate the coexistence, public safety, and conservation of sharks in Australian waters.
  • Develop inter-disciplinary approaches for reconciling political interests around beach safety and environmental preservation with the ethical treatment of wildlife.
  • Devise a policy mechanism that allows for a post shark-net consideration of shark bite mitigation in NSW and QLD.

This project is supported by SEI’s 2023 Collaborative Grants Scheme.

Related research outputs:

'State governments get tangled in shark net debate', ABC radio, 28 August 2023

'Debating the cost of safety: Shark nets or marine life?', 2GB radio, 15 March 2023