A new survey of grey nurse sharks shows the species is still in severe danger of becoming extinct.
The study, commissioned by the Federal Government, found just over 1,000 of the sharks along the east coast of Australia.
That figure is significantly lower than the 5,000 needed to sustain the population.
Accidental hooking is one of the main threats to the survival of the species.
Nicky Hammond, the marine program manager for the National Parks Association of New South Wales, says the State Government must act now to protect key habitat sites.
“Here we’ve got a critically endangered species, we know what the key threat to their survival is, we know where they spend the majority of their time,” she said.
“It’s a relatively simple process to protect those sites from that key threat of fishing by creating marine sanctuaries and that way hopefully we can actually save this shark from going extinct.
“Time and time again they continue to ignore putting in place the proper protection of marine sanctuaries in these areas and provide tokenistic protection instead.
“We’re calling on the NSW Government, we’re saying enough is enough, that we need to now get these sanctuaries in place before the shark goes extinct.”