Save a shark with your camera! GNS WATCH

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The grey nurse shark (Carcharias taurus) is one of Australia's most endangered species with only 1500 thought to remain within the east coast subpopulation. Accordingly, this subpopulation is listed under the IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered.

Grey Nurse Shark Watch (GNS Watch) was launched in June 2011 and is a citizen science research and monitoring program that  aims to use the data obtained through our community volunteers and research team to improve the conservation management of the GNS in Australia and to help the Critically Endangered east coast population to recover. 

The GNS Watch program uses visual counts and photographs of GNS collected opportunistically throughout the year and during two annual scheduled surveys to photo-identify and photo-recapture individual sharks (from the unique spot patterns on the sides of each shark).

GNS Watch seeks, collates, analyses and reports on data provided by our volunteers and researchers and aims to contribute to six of ten objectives in the 2014 National Recovery Plan (Recovery Plan) for this critically endangered species.

Specifically, GNS Watch aims to:
1. For the first time, monitor the numbers of the Australian east coast population of grey nurse sharks and determine if it is increasing, stable or declining,
2. Provide information on the distribution and movements at different stages in their life history,
3. Provide data to enable interactions with commercial and recreational fishing gear to be quantified, along with associated injuries and any shark recovery,
4. Help to identify new aggregation sites,
5. Increase public awareness, and importantly,
6. GNS Watch through community and researcher photos will provide good data for management purposes via an open and transparent mechanism that involves interested parties.



HOW can you Help?

Want to get involved and help with the GNS watch program? Follow the link to find out a number of ways:GET INVOLVED

Learn about our upoming surveys and projects.THIS YEAR AT GNS WATCH


more about the GNS Watch program

Meet the team

Find out who's who in the GNS Watch family.

Our Team


GNS Watch Reports and Publications

Check out the work GNS Watch is doing.GNS Facts

GNS Watch factsheet


GNS Watch 1st report to members



GNS in the News

Find out what we've been up to and how we're sharing our message.News


Relevant Publications 




Wolf Rock, just south of Fraser Island, is a very special site for Grey Nurse Sharks (GNS) on the east coast of Australia. In Spring, male and female GNS gather at Wolf Rock for breeding. As GNS do not have hands to give gentle caresses during romantic moments, they hold each other with their teeth! This is why some of the GNS you see in this beautiful footage by Pure Underwater Imaging have open wounds and scars - it's a sign they've been contributing to the next generation of this Critically Endangered population.

After the mating season, the male GNS leave Wolf Rock allowing the pregnant females to rest together there in peace for their 9-12 month gestation before pupping in New South Wales waters. See if you can spot the pregnant female in the footage - she is the one looking particularly round!

Wolf Rock is a popular recreational scuba diving site where divers can come up close and personal with the GNS year-round. You can see for yourself in the footage how placid these gentle giants are; despite their toothy grins they are harmless to scuba divers.

As Wolf Rock is so important to GNS, we'd love to see your sightings and photographs from this site - you can submit them via Grey Nurse Shark Watch. Approximately half the pregnant female population aggregate at Wolf Rock each year; where the other half go remains a mystery and is a critical gap in our knowledge of this iconic species. If you have seen any GNS at an unusual site, your sighting could help us with the Missing in Action project.Missing in Action is a research project being undertaken by the University of Queensland (and partners) that complements the Grey Nurse Shark Watch Project.



Project Support

We would like to thank GNSW supporters for making the work we do possible!Supporters