UNIVERSITY of Tasmania researchers have discovered that great white sharks have a larger appetite than originally thought.
The study led by Jayson Semmens, of the university's Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, found that a large one tonne white shark can survive on a 30-kilogram meal for between 12 and 15 days - four times less than a previous study suggested.
Dr Semmens said the ocean predators were hard to study.
``The energy requirements of large sharks in the wild are poorly documented and their prey intake rates are largely unknown,'' he said.
``Research on how sharks interact with their ecosystems is needed because many shark species are highly vulnerable to over exploitation.
``Our study uses metabolic rates derived from swimming speed estimates to suggest that feeding requirements of the white shark are much higher than previously proposed.''
Dr Semmens' findings have been published in the Scientific Reports journal.
The research was conducted in collaboration with the University of New South Wales, South Australian Research and Development Institute, University of Southampton (UK) and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.