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University of Queensland and Griffith University researchers analysed data from the program, which has used baited drumlines and nets since 1962 to minimise human-shark interactions, and now spans 1760 km of the Queensland coastline.
UQ School of Biological Sciences researcher Dr George Roff said historical baselines of Queensland shark populations were largely unknown, despite a long history of shark exploitation by recreational and commercial fisheries.
Explorers - Century - Coastlines - Sharks - Idea
"Explorers in the 19th century once described Australian coastlines as being 'chock-full of sharks', yet we don't have a clear idea of how many sharks there used to be on Queensland beaches," he said.
"Shark populations around the world have declined substantially in recent decades, with many species being listed as vulnerable and endangered."
Queensland - Shark - Control - Program - Data
By analysing the Queensland Shark Control Program data, the research team reconstructed historical records of shark catches to explore changes in the number and sizes of sharks over the past half century.
"What we found is that large apex sharks such as hammerheads, tigers and white sharks, have declined by 74 to 92 per cent along Queensland's coast," Dr Roff said.
"And the chance of zero...
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