Shark Identification & Facts

Shark with school of fish 

There are over 370 shark species in the world, approximately 140 of which are found in Australian waters. Of all of these species, only a handful pose a potential threat to life.

The last fatal shark attack in Victoria was in 1987, over 30 years ago.

In fact, nearly all fatal attacks in Australian coastal waters have been attributed to just three species:

Other potentially dangerous sharks in Victoria include

This guide provides an overview of sharks that most likely to pose a threat to humans in Victoria.

Interesting facts about sharks:

  • Sharks live in every ocean on earth. Many live in estuaries ( where the river and ocean mix) and some even live in large freshwater rivers.
  • Sharks have well developed eyesight and sense of smell.
  • A shark's lifespan can vary from a few years to several decades depending on the species.
  • Sharks belong to a class of fish called Chondrichthyes, which have skeletons made of cartilage and not bone.

Sharks can swim 3-4 km per hour