The record of aboriginal occupation of Shark Bay extends to 22,000 years BP. A considerable number of aboriginal midden sites have been found, especially on Peron Peninsula (pictured left) and Dirk Hartog Island.
Shark Bay is the site of the first recorded European landing in Western Australia, with the visit of Dirk Hartog in 1616, followed by William Dampier in 1699.
Currently Shark Bay has a population of approximately 800, principally located in the towns of Denham and Useless Loop. The economy of the region includes tourism, fishing, mining (salt mine pictured right) and pastoralism.