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Marine Life & Conservation Blogs

Creature Feature: Port Jackson Shark

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In this series, the Shark Trust will be sharing amazing facts about different species of sharks and what you can do to help protect them.

Heterodontiformes also known as bullhead sharks are an ancient order that are now represented by one family . This month we’re showing off one of the bullhead sharks, the Port Jackson Shark. This species was first documented in Port Jackson, the inlet containing Sydney Harbour, Australia.

Grey to light-brown, they have a distinct ’harness’ marking – a stripe across the eyes which links around to their backs. Nocturnal, they rest by day, often in groups in or near caves – foraging during the night.

They live in separate groups based on sex, and life stage. They’re migratory within their range. And they have complicated seasonal breeding migrations.

Their teeth are different in the front and back. Their back teeth are flat and blunt, perfect for grinding and crushing the shells of their prey . They eat crabs, shrimp, squid and other bottom dwellers. Their front teeth are small, sharp and pointed. They can eat and breathe at the same time. This is unusual for sharks, as most species need to swim with their mouths open to force water over gills. Port Jackson’s can pump water through their first gill slit allowing them to remain still on the seafloor for long periods.

An unusual feature of the Port Jackson Shark is their spiral shaped eggs. Females can wedge them into cracks and crevices where they are held in place by the corkscrew-like grooves.

Listed as least concern by the IUCN. The Port Jackson Shark is abundant. Whilst it is taken as bycatch by fisheries, it’s of no value for food and so most are returned alive.

We’re pleased to announce that our partners at The Great Out-tours have created a £1 activity bundle featuring the Port Jackson Shark!

SCIENTIFIC NAME:  Heterodontus portusjacksoni

FAMILY:  Heterodontidae

MAXIMUM SIZE:  165cm

DIET:  Bottom-dwelling invertebrates and small fishes

DISTRIBUTION:  Australia

HABITAT:  Intertidal to at least 275m. Sandy caves, gullies and sandy bottoms next to rocky reefs

CONSERVATION STATUS

Images by Ian Donato

Eggcase Image via Kiddle Encyclopedia


For more amazing facts about sharks and what you can do to help the Shark Trust protect them visit the Shark Trust website by clicking here.

The Shark Trust is the leading UK-based shark conservation charity. The team works globally to safeguard the future of sharks, and their close cousins, the skates and rays. Engaging with a global network of scientists, policymakers, conservation professionals, businesses and supporters, to further shark conservation. Established in 1997 to provide a voice for UK sharks, the Shark Trust has an ever-growing number of passionate supporters. And together we're creating positive change for sharks around the world. Want to join us and help protect sharks around the world? Click here! www.sharktrust.org

Marine Life & Conservation

Jeff chats to… Ana Filipa Sobral, Founder of The Manta Catalog Project in the Azores (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Ana Filipa Sobral, Founder and Project Leader of The Manta Catalog Project in the Azores.

Ana Filipa Sobral is a marine biologist and conservationist based in the Azores Islands. She moved to the Azores in 2011 and once there, realised that this was one of the few places in the world where Sicklefin Devil Rays (Mobula tarapacana) gather in large groups, making it a strategic place to study them. She started the The Manta Catalog Project and through this project, collects photo ID and occurrence data on Mobulid Rays, with the precious help of divers and dive operators as citizen scientists.

Ana is also finishing her PhD which focuses on population genetics and connectivity of migratory elasmobranchs in oceanic islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The main goal fueling my research has been to help fill the knowledge gaps on elasmobranch biology and ecology to ultimately assist in the design of effective conservation and management plans aimed at protecting their populations in this remote region of the North Atlantic Ocean.

You can find out more about Ana’s important work at: https://mantacatalogazores.wixsite.com/mobulaid/project.


Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.

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Marine Life & Conservation

The BiG Scuba Podcast… with Dan Abbott of Save The Med Foundation

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Gemma and Ian chat to Dan Abbott.  Dan works at Save The Med Foundation.  He is incredibly passionate about marine conservation, underwater filmmaking, drones and helping people understand the world of sharks. It’s probably safe to say sharks are his main passion, and he has spent the last five years traveling around the world filming various species including great white sharks, bull sharks, tiger sharks and hammerhead sharks.

Have a listen here:

Find out more here:


Find more podcast episodes and information at the new www.thebigscuba.com  website and on most social platforms @thebigscuba

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