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Shark Depredation Research

Depredation of catch is a major problem facing recreational, commercial and charter fishers worldwide. Depredation involves the partial or complete removal of bait or a fish hooked on a line, by a predator before it is landed. Depredation can be caused by a variety of animals, however fishers frequently report sharks taking their catches. This depredation can have a variety of biological, behavioural and economic impacts that affect both fishers and the environment. There are also concerns regarding the impact depredation is having on total fishing mortality, as losses in catch from depredation are not currently accounted for in determining sustainable yields.


In Queensland fisheries (Australia), fishers report one out of every four fish they catch is depredated by sharks before it can be landed (DAF, personal communication, 2019). Anecdotal reports of depredation in Queensland fisheries suggest depredation is an emerging issue (S. Breen, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, 2020, pers. comm), however little is known about the extent of the problem, the species involved and how to manage the issue. Due to the uncertainty of this issue and its impact on the environment, economy, and a range of associated stakeholders, it is vital to better understand depredation in Queensland line fisheries to ensure sustainable fisheries into the future. This research will investigate depredation experienced by commercial, charter and recreational line fishers throughout Queensland waters.

The research will aim to investigate;

  • Which species are depredating catches in Queensland,

  • Where depredation is occurring,

  • The number of fish lost to depredation,

  • Movement of depredating species. 

If you are interested in assisting with this research in any way please contact us. The greater support we have from the fishing community the better the information we are going to be able to get.  

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