The Grey Nurse shark was the first shark to be declared a protected species, but they’re still facing extinction. Off Eastern Australia, where most of these sharks are found, less than 2000 individuals survive. Don’t let their big jaws and protruding teeth scare you! They’re very shy, and will try to hide in caves when they see you. Filmed at Byron Bay, Australia.

Grey Nurse Shark

(Carcharias taurus)

The Grey Nurse shark is otherwise known as the Ragged-Tooth or Sand Tiger shark, and is found in sub-tropical to cool-temperate waters off most continental land masses world-wide. It’s listed as critically endangered or vulnerable across its range. It was the first shark species to be declared protected, by Australia’s NSW government in 1984, followed by the rest of the world. Despite protection, the shark’s population continues to decline, mostly due to fishing, netting, and habitat loss. Its slow reproductive rate also makes population increase difficult, with the Grey Nurse shark sexually maturing around 8 years of age and producing only one pup every two years. Once falsely thought a man-eater, the Grey Nurse shark has not been linked directly to any fatal human attack, and has a shy, mostly solitary nature. It is commonly found gliding close to the seafloor, and prefers to spend its daylight hours hiding in caves or rocky gutters at depths ranging from 10 metres (coastline) to 200 metres (continental shelf).