Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences

Preliminary observations on the biology of the White Shark, Carcharodon carcharias, in South Australian waters

BD Bruce

Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 43(1) 1 - 11
Published: 1992


The seasonal and geographic distribution of three size categories of white sharks, Carcharodon carcharias (<250 cm, 250-450 cm, >450 cm), is described for South Australian waters. On the basis of 217 records, C. carcharias of all sizes were widely distributed throughout the study area but were most commonly reported in inshore waters less than 15 m deep. Sea surface temperatures at the report sites ranged from 12 to 24ºC. A wide range of prey items was recorded, with teleosts predominant in sharks less than 250 cm and cetaceans in sharks greater than 320 cm.

The structure of the ovary of a 520 cm white shark was similar to the structures reported for other oviphagous lamnids. Sex ratios highly favoured females, suggesting some sexual segregation.

Three recaptures out of 22 sharks tagged in 1990-91 have been reported, the recapture points varying from 18 to 220 km from the release points and the times at liberty ranging from 30 to 78 days.

© CSIRO 1992

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