At Sharks And Rays Australia we believe that long-term conservation goals can only be achieved if they are based on sound science, public outreach and working with local stakeholders. SARA was formed with the aim to not just produce science in the ‘ivory tower’ but to involve the general public in our sawfish and shark research expeditions.
SARA is based in the city of Cairns in Far North Queensland, Australia. Cairns is often referred to as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Well over hundred thousand people flock to the Great Barrier Reef from here every year, to experience the largest reef ecosystem in the world. But Cairns is also the last big city on the way north to the remote regions of the Cape York Peninsula. The landscapes of Cape York are ancient, sparsely inhabited and highly variable due to the alternating dry and wet seasons.
Not many people are aware of the elasmobranch inhabitants, the sharks and rays that are present in the vast ecosystems of the Great Barrier Reef and also the river systems and coast lines of the Cape York Peninsula. Particularly sawfish are often forgotten even though Northern Australia is of vital importance to their existence. For one species of sawfish, the rivers in Northern Australia may actually be their last retreat.
The area where we run expeditions is 3/4 of the size of Germany, but only inhabited by 28,000 people. For comparison, Germany had close to 83 million inhabitants in 2016. For more information on our research and on how to get involved please see here or find us on social media!