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Climate change opens way for tiger sharks, pushes out whites

Tiger shark.
Tiger shark. FILE

GOODBYE, great white, and hello tiger.

If you want one potential impact of global warming on the North Coast shark population, that's it.

Like the tourist waves in summer and early autumn, the tiger and bull sharks tend to be more active in the first third of the year.

The great white emerges mainly in the late autumn, through to spring, to chase whale calves.

But if global warming increases ocean temperatures at current predictions, Southern Cross University marine biologist Dr Daniel Bucher said it was likely the region would see more tiger sharks moving south from the tropics, and less great whites moving north.

But nothing is certain - the trend could be reversed in one scenario, where a strengthening and warming East Australian Current moves further offshore, creating colder upwellings and actually decreasing temperatures in some area along the coast.

This would see cooler water - and more great whites - alongside a host of other subtle changes to the marine ecosystem.

Topics:  climate change great white shark sharks tiger shark


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