Sharks: many places, many stories

For 450 million years they’ve dominated our oceans but today sharks are now under threat. Hear from First Nations peoples, scientists and conservationist as they share their stories about these ancient survivors.

Sharks digital publication, Leopard Shark banner
Sharks digital publication, Leopard Shark banner

The ancient ones

Sharks are ancient creatures that evolved long before dinosaurs lived on land. They have survived five global mass extinctions, each of which wiped out more than 75 per cent of animal species.

Sharks exhibition 2022, The Ancient Ones banner
Sharks exhibition 2022, The Ancient Ones banner

What is a shark?

Sharks are fish that have skeletons made of cartilage rather than bone, making them lighter and more buoyant in water. Over millions of years, they have developed extraordinary senses to help navigate and detect prey.

Sharks exhibition 2022, Intro White Tip Shark banner
Sharks exhibition 2022, Intro White Tip Shark banner

Sharks bodies and senses

Over millions of years, sharks have developed streamlined bodies and extraordinary senses to help navigate and detect prey while also providing protection against attack.

Sharks exhibition 2022, Respect and fear banner
Sharks exhibition 2022, Respect and fear banner

Respect and fear

First Nations peoples of the sea in Australia and the Pacific have always respected sharks, revering them as ancestors and gods. However, sharks have often been portrayed as killing machines and monsters to be feared.

Sharks digital publication, Hammerhead Shark banner
Sharks digital publication, Hammerhead Shark banner

Why oceans need sharks

Apex predators such as big sharks play a crucial role in keeping the ocean’s delicate ecosystem in balance. Intense overfishing has not only had devastating effects on shark numbers but also placed huge stress on the entire marine food chain.

Sharks exhibition Whale Shark CTA banner, 2022
Sharks exhibition Whale Shark CTA banner, 2022

Saving sharks

We can all take action to help save the world’s shark populations. Knowledge from the First Nations peoples, scientists and ecologists can guide our next steps.

Sharks exhibition 2022, Saving Sharks Grey Fin Shark banner
Sharks exhibition 2022, Saving Sharks Grey Fin Shark banner

Hawaii

Hawaii is an archipelago of 137 volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean and the first peoples of the Hawaiian islands are the Kānaka Maoli. Explore the home of the world's largest protected marine areas and learn from the wisdom of the First Nation Hawaiian peoples.

Sharks exhibition 2022, Hawaii banner
Sharks exhibition 2022, Hawaii banner

Torres Strait Islands

People have inhabited the Torres Strait Islands for at least 2500 years and the surrounding sea is rich in coral and marine life. Learn about the shark in the sky and the importance of the sea and land.

Sharks exhibition 2022, Torres Strait Islands banner
Sharks exhibition 2022, Torres Strait Islands banner

Fiji

The Republic of Fiji is an archipelago of more than 330 islands in the South Pacific Ocean and more than 30 species of sharks are found in the Fijian waters. Learn how sharks are ancestral gods and have been an integral part of Fijian culture for thousands of years.

Sharks exhibition 2022, Fiji banner
Sharks exhibition 2022, Fiji banner

Tonga

Tonga is an archipelago of more than 170 islands scattered over 700,000 square kilometres of the southern Pacific Ocean. Learn about the sacred relationship that the Tongan peoples have with sharks.

Sharks exhibition 2022, Tonga banner
Sharks exhibition 2022, Tonga banner

Aotearoa

Aotearoa New Zealand consists of two islands and around 70 species of sharks are found in their waters. Discover why sharks are our kin and how their wellbeing is interconnected to the health of the environment.

Sharks exhibition 2022,  Aotearoa banner
Sharks exhibition 2022,  Aotearoa banner

New South Wales

The warm East Australian Current flows down the New South Wales (NSW) coast, making it a popular habitat for sharks. Discover the stories and ceremonies of the coastal clan groups of the Eora Nation and their connection to the ocean.

Sharks exhibition 2022, NSW banner
Sharks exhibition 2022, NSW banner
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Composition of various species of sharks in an underwater setting