Join the WA Maritime Museum for a series of Sunday talks that dive into the world of sharks. Explore these fascinating animals with us, and the complex and vital role sharks play in the marine ecosystem.
Museum visitors have long been enthralled by our distant past, particularly through exhibitions featuring dinosaurs. What many may not know is that sharks have also been around for millions of years, and can claim to be some of the oldest and most successful animals on Earth.
This captivating series of talks include stories of shark life revealed through fossil evidence; the science that surrounds sharks in Western Australia; and considers how humans and shark interact at the frontier of ecological law and fisheries management.
Big Sharks and Big Parks: Building Resilient Oceans
Sunday August 11, 2pm - 2.45pm
Dr Jessica Meeuwig, Professor of Marine Science at the University of Western Australia
Sharks recover their numbers in marine parks – an essential response to ocean health, given the role these animals play in regulating marine fish communities.
This lecture is a window into our new marine parks and our progress to rebuilding ocean health. Australia has established large marine parks in our offshore "big blue" waters.
Jessica will discuss how ocean wildlife responds to protection, and the process of deploying non-destructive baited video cameras in offshore waters to identify, count, and measure ocean wildlife.
Sea Shepherd and the Key Threats Impacting Our Oceans – There is No Hope Without Action
Sunday August 18, 2pm - 2.45pm
Jeff Hansen - Managing Director, Sea Shepherd
Given that most of the air we breathe comes from our oceans, they truly are our primary life support. Hear what Sea Shepherd is doing to tackle the key threats impacting our oceans, of illegal fishing, plastic pollution, and climate change.
Sea Shepherd is lean, effective, and on the front line in defence of our oceans. Producing tangible results in working with governments and providing critical information to Interpol to bring poachers to justice and turn back the tide of destruction in our oceans.
Join Jeff for a presentation that offers a visual feast and an inspiring story of hope… for we cannot have hope without action!
Why Shark Laws Matter: Ensuring Safe and Healthy Oceans
Sunday August 25, 2pm - 2.45pm
Dr Erika Techera – Professor of Law at the University of Western Australia
Effective laws are essential to protect people and sharks, and to ensure our oceans stay healthy. Shark laws include a wide range of provisions – from fishing and finning regulations, conservation and animal welfare laws, to tourism legislation and cultural heritage protections.
Erika has researched the vast array of laws in Australia and across the world, and this presentation will highlight the important role that law plays in conserving sharks and managing human activities.
Join Erika as she shares both her passion for sharks and her experience in how environmental law shapes the human relationship to this magnificent and complex species.
The Rise and Fall of the Giant Megalodon Shark
Sunday September 1, 2pm – 2.45pm
Dr Mikael Siversson – Head of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Western Australian Museum
Join Mikael for a fascinating journey into ancient waters to explore the giant otodontid shark Carcharocles megalodon, and chart the rise and fall of this super marine predator.
The mass extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous period wiped out the mosasaurs, a group of giant marine reptiles that had ruled the oceans for 15 million years. This paved the way for the rise of an evolutionary lineage of sharks that culminated in the arrival of Carcharocles megalodon.
New research indicates that this enormous predator went extinct around 3.6 million years ago, which is earlier than previous estimates. A number of factors may have contributed to its demise. These factors include climate change, extinction of important prey species, and possible competition between young Carcharocles megalodon and adult white sharks.