Recent shark activity.

kbomb's picture
kbomb started the topic in Monday, 23 Nov 2015 at 5:49pm
kbomb's picture
kbomb's picture
kbomb commented Monday, 23 Nov 2015 at 5:51pm

I know there was an attack a couple of weeks ago but what's the feeling with everyone with shark numbers in NSW. Is the situation improving or same or more sharks. Are people just becoming complacent and surfing anyway? Be good to hear a bit about it.

groundswell's picture
groundswell's picture
groundswell commented Tuesday, 24 Nov 2015 at 1:34pm

Slightly off topic but there is some good news there hasnt been any attacks im aware of in WA's west coast for a long time. There were a couple down far south a while ago but nothing on the west coast as far as i know. Strange how its now all concentrated around northern NSW.
Im guessing that warmer than usual water had something to do with it.

prothero's picture
prothero's picture
prothero commented Tuesday, 24 Nov 2015 at 5:00pm

In WA 2011 when we had the spate of attacks we also had unprecedented high water temperatures ( 3 degrees higher than average and 5 degrees higher for a couple of weeks). We also saw up to 90% of sea grasses dying in the Shark bay area. In 2011 the forests in the SW also took a hit and up to 17,000 hectares of forrest suddenly collapsed. Some people do believe the water temps were a factor.

Prothero

Gui's picture
Gui's picture
Gui commented Tuesday, 24 Nov 2015 at 7:24pm

there was one at Pyramids Beach near Mandurah, around Oct.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Tuesday, 24 Nov 2015 at 8:13pm

Water temps have been pretty normal in NENSW for the last year.

caml's picture
caml's picture
caml commented Tuesday, 24 Nov 2015 at 8:22pm

Prothero please explain the trees collapsing and where / why this happened .

caml's picture
caml's picture
caml commented Tuesday, 24 Nov 2015 at 8:24pm

Gui wrote: there was one at Pyramids Beach near Mandurah, around Oct.

Really ?!

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Tuesday, 24 Nov 2015 at 8:29pm

Grey nurse nibble on foot.

# Autophagy for Health - Just do it #

caml's picture
caml's picture
caml commented Tuesday, 24 Nov 2015 at 9:13pm

Did it udo?

uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy commented Tuesday, 24 Nov 2015 at 10:54pm

Been a few recent sightings of GWS around the Old Bar/Forster area, big sharks just behind the breakers, spotted by rec pilots and fishos

nochaser's picture
nochaser's picture
nochaser commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 at 6:58am

Surfing Treachery and 5 were in the breakers at next beach around in Oct but hey it's the grounds for em. Why do some shark migrate all the way south in SA and VIC and some follow the snapper run into TAS but others will stay put like that big one at Newcastle earlier this year around the time of the QS comp Feb-March was massive and agro head butting boats.

Government has announced that Smart drum lines are going to be installed in the Ballina region.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 at 8:49am

It's hard to know exactly what they mean by "smart" drum lines. I understand that there is a warning signal activated when something takes the bait and a contractor gets there as quickly as possible but then what do they do if it's a white?
Release it? Relocate it?

And what if the bar is impassable as is very common?

Don't get me wrong, I think drum lines are much smarter than nets but it seems to me this is a tacit admission of an over-population in the area that needs culling and they are calling it "smart" to avoid green backlash.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 at 9:03am

Maybe eco drum lines would work better then? Climate friendly drum lines...?

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 at 9:14am

I'm really surprised they didn't call them "eco" drum lines. Fire the marketing manager.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out though, because the whole shark debate has become at least as polarising as the climate change one.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 at 9:19am

Lot of similarities, hey? Though I don't think it's the subject of the argument that causes it to take this shape, this is just how people 'debate' the big things. i.e retreat to their preconceived position and sandbag the walls.

nochaser's picture
nochaser's picture
nochaser commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 at 9:45am

'Smart' and 'Clever' maybe 'Eco' doesn't rub the intellect. Next we will have intelligent nets.

What information has been passed on? This wasn't in the press release as part of the plan for the 16 million maybe that photo the other day of the 7 sharks made them act and act quickly.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 at 10:00am

Fuck all, I live and surf here and try to stay informed and no-one seems to know what the fuck is going on.

Feels like Baird and Blair are making it up as they go and Mayor David Wright is caught in the cross-hairs.

The message is mixed, confusing and ad hoc.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 at 10:59am

The first field test of shark tracking drones begins today at Coffs Harbour : ABC online

# Autophagy for Health - Just do it #

Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68 commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 at 11:05am

FR76 " I understand that there is a warning signal activated when something takes the bait and a contractor gets there as quickly as possible but then what do they do if it's a white?
Release it? Relocate it?"

"Don't get me wrong, I think drum lines are much smarter than nets but it seems to me this is a tacit admission of an over-population in the area that needs culling and they are calling it "smart" to avoid green backlash. "

I suppose the question is FR like you said, are they going to actually cull the sharks they catch, GWS included (if they're still alive) or like you suggested, re-locate or release. Not sure why they would they catch a shark then release it in the same area?!? Surely the details of the "Smart Drum Lines" strategy must be available to the public. It certainly does sound bizarre if none of the locals actually know what's happening with this next phase given all the publicity........

Crystal Clear

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 at 11:11am

Well they are tagging and releasing whites in the same area at the moment, so if it's part of the tagging program then that is at least a consistent position but I highly doubt they will be able to get a contractor there within 2 hours .......they have to get over the Ballina bar and I doubt whether they will risk life, limb and vessel in the middle of the night if the bar is raging.

Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68 commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 at 11:24am

Interesting FR. I suppose the logistics/costs of re-locating a GWS are simply not viable & the reality is they would possibly return anyway. Tagging is good IMO from a research perspective, hopefully combined with the Sat Nav technology Buoy Alert systems etc. If the GWS are actually caught on the drum lines (which proved very difficult in the West) & are still alive, I suppose they tag them, if they're dead then it forms part of a "cull" program that is obviously too sensitive to announce straight up, as you suggested......

Crystal Clear

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 at 11:30am

The reason no whites were caught on the drum lines in WA is they were put too far offshore and were out of season.
Our whites are being tagged less than 500 m off the beach, mostly closer than that. They are literally in the surf zone. They are being released less than a K offshore.

Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68 commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 at 12:24pm

Yeah FR not so sure the drumlines were too far out re WA. They were 1km offshore in the Perth metro, GWS frequent that stretch between Perth beaches & Rotto quite regularly, well documented with all the reported sightings etc (assume they feed offshore as well as inshore). They were of similar distant off the SW WA coast at various locations too.

Whilst you might catch more GWS in the Ballina region setting drum lines in or just off the surf zone, do you think this a good idea? Your clearly not comfortable with the situation as it currently stands, how would you/local community feel about drum lines being in so close? Maybe the fact the GWS are already in so close, it would reject the obvious argument that you would be attracting them in close with tasty baits. Quite the dilemma.......

Edit: Re WA drumlines, they caught plenty of Tiger sharks. Is the GWS too intelligent for drumlines?!?

Crystal Clear

saltyone's picture
saltyone's picture
saltyone commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 at 12:48pm

Tagging is not the answer.. it would only aggravate the sharks further. Imagine how you would feel being teased with bait then having a dart put into your back or your stomach sliced open and a beeping electronic device put in. Just because they aren't a sweet dolphin doesn't mean that they don't feel things and suffer as well. It's high time that we treated these creatures with respect. If they thought we were food there would be scores of people eaten whole every day. We are not food to them. Why do humans think it is their given right to interfere with wild animals. Im a surfer and I personally think its disgusting. People need to be asking the questions of why the sharks are coming closer into shore.. ( increased water temps) and the govt should be focusing its efforts on reducing climate change. The governments of the last few years seem to be taking these sneaky roads of deciding on things without much public consultation whatsoever. Marine gov depts seem to be somewhat of a law unto themselves with not much regard for marine life itself. tagging, darting, teasing and baiting are all negative energy based processes that only create more havoc. green energy should be mandatory in australia. super trawlers should not be allowed into australian waters. tuna and salmon farming needs to be scaled down and the human race needs to bloody slow down on breeding as this planet cannot tolerate it anymore! why do people think they can have three four five kids, have they no thoughts about consumption? often it's bogans wanting more welfare money with no regard for the impact on the planet. ranting now but you get my drift. .

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 at 1:08pm

Just for a start, if you are any kind of human being, particularly a modern one living in a technological society your whole life is based on "interfering with wild animals".......but leaving aside that massive and monumental hypocrisy there's zero evidence tagging harms sharks, and at the least it is giving us some baseline data.

I very much doubt the increased shark populations being encountered on the north coast have anything to do with climate change, but if they do, trying to tie the two together and hoping politicians efforts to reduce climate change is any kind of mitigation strategy falls way more into the wishing and hoping basket than tagging does.

Not sure where you're at in this debate Saltyone, but no-one is seriously suggesting we are a food source for whites, just that as their numbers increase (even if temporarily and locally) the chances increase for opportunistic and investigative bites.

Otherwise, I pretty much agree with the rest of what you have to say. The human race needs to desperately try and change course away from it's current destructive path.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 at 1:15pm

Rabbits68 wrote: Yeah FR not so sure the drumlines were too far out re WA. They were 1km offshore in the Perth metro, GWS frequent that stretch between Perth beaches & Rotto quite regularly, well documented with all the reported sightings etc (assume they feed offshore as well as inshore). They were of similar distant off the SW WA coast at various locations too.

Whilst you might catch more GWS in the Ballina region setting drum lines in or just off the surf zone, do you think this a good idea? Your clearly not comfortable with the situation as it currently stands, how would you/local community feel about drum lines being in so close? Maybe the fact the GWS are already in so close, it would reject the obvious argument that you would be attracting them in close with tasty baits. Quite the dilemma.......

Edit: Re WA drumlines, they caught plenty of Tiger sharks. Is the GWS too intelligent for drumlines?!?

Doubt it. they seem to be able to catch them just fine here on baited lines.

The whites are already here in the surf zone so it's not like they are being attracted . But yeah, it's all a fucking head fuck.

Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68 commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 at 1:32pm

Saltyone "Tagging is not the answer.. it would only aggravate the sharks further. Imagine how you would feel being teased with bait then having a dart put into your back or your stomach sliced open and a beeping electronic device put in. Just because they aren't a sweet dolphin doesn't mean that they don't feel things and suffer as well. It's high time that we treated these creatures with respect."

Salty they are GWSs not human beings, your simply assuming they have similar "feelings", yes in my limited knowledge I would think it is mildly and briefly painful for the shark but these are creatures that live with pretty gnarly scarring etc from wounds received in the wild, pretty sure a tag is on the low end of that scale.

In terms of treating/showing them respect, tagging is exactly that. One of a number of methods being trialed in order to learn more about these amazing creatures in an attempt to reduce the loss of human life whilst playing in the ocean & preserving the life of GWSs, the perfect balance, if it indeed exists. We all know the ways of the human being, if this attack/fatality ratio continues to increase, they will be culled IMO, rightly or wrongly. As FR76 so clearly stated, it's a "fucking head fuck" alright......

Crystal Clear

saltyone's picture
saltyone's picture
saltyone commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 at 2:07pm

I guess my view is not held by some but I still stand to what I feel. I have never seen footage of a shark calmly and happily receiving a tag. They are usually thrashing. Why should it have to encounter anything painful even if you say it is "mild" , how do we know it is mild? As for wounds they receive in the wild these are associated with hunting, with increased adrenalin, so letting sharks get close to humans in this way of baiting and then inflicting pain is creating similar associations with their natural hunting and fighting . Adrenalin/fear/ fight flight response. With so many sharks already being baited and tagged it is, also, along with increased water temps bringing in more baitfish, no wonder they are coming in closer to people. This is where I stand on it. I feel for all the people wracked with the agonising grief of losing their loved ones in the surf and how its affected the ballina lennox townships. I lived and surfed there a lot and lennox point and north wall ballina were favourite breaks and so I hold the whole area very close to my heart.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 at 2:18pm

Total nonsense.

So you'd rather a shark didn't feel a tag than have what you say you love tragically affected....even for someone using emotional reasoning*, that makes zero sense.
Go have a think about things mate.

*Emotional reasoning is a cognitive process that occurs when a person believes that what he or she is feeling is true regardless of the evidence.

saltyone's picture
saltyone's picture
saltyone commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 at 2:26pm

Ok so give me evidence to show a shark isn't affected. I have thought about things thank you. I don't think tagging is the answer and I think it is only exacerbating the issue. Sorry if you disagree.

50young's picture
50young's picture
50young commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 at 2:29pm

Salty just for you. Quote from National Geographic article on Tagging " Does tagging cause shark’s pain?

No. Recent research shows that the sensory receptors (known as nociceptors) responsible for feeling pain in humans and other mammals are not present in the sharks studied to date. Moreover, many tags are attached to shark fins, which have no nerve supply. The type of response to injury that sharks exhibit is unconscious reaction or reflexes, not pain-induced response. For more information on sharks and pain, "

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 at 2:35pm

It's incumbent on you to show they are affected. The evidence from all large fish tagged quickly resuming normal activity is compelling, including the current evidence from the Ballina shark tagging.

But you continue on with your "evidence". Have you ever seen a shark tagged? Go find out a little bit about it before you spout off.

Mate, seriously, if you don't know about something you really don't need to go parading your ignorance just for the sake of expressing your opinion. It's OK to stay silent about things you haven't got a clue about.

fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21 commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 at 4:16pm

I think the alternative to some short term pain from tagging is not worth the arguement.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 26 Nov 2015 at 8:51am

Looks like someone was listening in........editorial from the Northern Star today: "And should we trade eco drum lines for actual drum lines and non lethal shark barriers for shark nets?"

uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy commented Thursday, 26 Nov 2015 at 9:05am

Wrong bait and warm water in WA = tiger shark city
Apparently they were using a few slimy mackerel/blue Mack's for bait
Should have been using half Samson fish or snelled pair 5kg aus salmon

Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68 commented Thursday, 26 Nov 2015 at 10:52am

uncle_leroy wrote: Wrong bait and warm water in WA = tiger shark city
Apparently they were using a few slimy mackerel/blue Mack's for bait
Should have been using half Samson fish or snelled pair 5kg aus salmon

Amazing to think that between the WA Fisheries Dept & a local commercial fishing contractor, given the cost/effort of that drum line program, they used the "wrong" bait. Extraordinary....

Crystal Clear

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Thursday, 26 Nov 2015 at 1:32pm
tootr's picture
tootr's picture
tootr commented Thursday, 26 Nov 2015 at 1:34pm

Just in - there's a story in the SMH where the ''shark expert' suggests surfers should pay for their own protective devices.

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/surfers-should-pay-for-shark-protectio...

tim foilat's picture
tim foilat's picture
tim foilat commented Thursday, 26 Nov 2015 at 2:08pm

"He also indicated that using drum lines was cruel to sharks because it involved putting a large hook in the animal's mouth and then dragging it out to sea.
"If you did that to remove wild dogs you would be locked up," he said

what a shitty argument to put forward. Wild dogs are culled in similar ways to sharks and a whole lot more horrible methods including trapping and poisoning where animals are maimed or die over days, people don't get locked up for it. And these wild dogs aren't eating people.

50young's picture
50young's picture
50young commented Thursday, 26 Nov 2015 at 2:17pm

tootr wrote: Just in - there's a story in the SMH where the ''shark expert' suggests surfers should pay for their own protective devices.

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/surfers-should-pay-for-shark-protectio...

Then all swimmers should pay to, makes absolutely no sense!!

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 26 Nov 2015 at 2:56pm

I'd like to line all these so-called shark experts up in a line and give them a kick in the nuts, especially the ones who keep repeating the fatuous statistics thats it's more likely we'll die from a coconut or a selfie.

fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21 commented Thursday, 26 Nov 2015 at 3:28pm

Hahaha, the fear is greater than the fact

carpetman's picture
carpetman's picture
carpetman commented Thursday, 26 Nov 2015 at 3:44pm

Ummm, that's no different to how things operate now. If I want a protective device I pay.

Although I wasn't present at the discussion and can only go off the article, it's the journalist who says "Surfers should bear the cost of shark protection measures by having to purchase shark repellent devices". The marine biologist only says "we should be looking at surfers investing in shark repellent devices"

groundswell's picture
groundswell's picture
groundswell commented Thursday, 26 Nov 2015 at 4:51pm

Regarding deterrents like surf safe which fit into the board, id really like to know whethor they effect performance. Id be keen on one but one i tired felt hard to turn where as the same board without one wasa sick board. It might have been my own health and unfitness though and also putting on a few pounds.
They only weight around 150 grams but im still not convinced the board surfed as well as the one without.

saltyone's picture
saltyone's picture
saltyone commented Thursday, 26 Nov 2015 at 9:47pm
freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Friday, 27 Nov 2015 at 9:04am

Interesting but you are aware that you claimed increasing water temps were the reason for more baitfish and sharks?
That article directly contradicts your "observations".

According to this article we should be seeing less baitfish and sharks, not more.

sharkman's picture
sharkman's picture
sharkman commented Friday, 27 Nov 2015 at 10:12am

Have you considered that the current conditions are the "Norm" as the eco system recovers , more whales , more sharks ?

x

Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie commented Friday, 27 Nov 2015 at 10:51am

We should be embracing the return of our national fish in great numbers. Australian stocks look to be quite healthy and on the improve. Perhaps GWS is no longer endangered and that status can be lifted.

Then and only then we can utilise this resource the way Africans profit off there wildlife, You guessed it Trophy Hunting!! Have rich yanks come over and pay exorbitant amounts of cash to tame the wild beast of the ocean.

Why have the taxpayer pay for hooking up and killing sharks on drum lines when they can't get to them on time if theres rich Americans willing to do the job for us. The other benefit is it will create a whole new tourism industry with luxury resorts, charter boats berthed at the Lennox marina redevelopment and boutique seafood restaurants with GWS on the menu.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Friday, 27 Nov 2015 at 11:56am

Hahaha I predict a slight backlash to that idea WJ. Shark man I do think this is a new normal.

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Friday, 27 Nov 2015 at 1:34pm

Pre whaling and sealing GW would have been prolific around Aust - but well fed. There would have been a very tough time for them as their prime food stocks fell and so lucky we did not surf back then in any numbers as they would have been starving marvins attacking everything that moved.

Now we are reverting back to higher numbers but with a significant behavioural shift amoung the GW population where they are more accustomed to seeing humans in the water, have not been hunted so much by fishos and many have been trained by the cage diving tourism animal training industry to associate humans and boats with food.

Don't feed the bears and don't accustom black bears / wolves to humans is fundamental to wldlife management in the USA through long experience of attacks stemming from familairsation (reduced fear of the unknown) from too close an interaction between humans a these animals.

Somehow this logical equation is downplayed by experts and tourism shark trainers with GW to suit their own financial ends and the marine wildlife political correctness.

Lots more GW, who don't fear us and are curious about these warmblooded human things bobbing around near shore will only head in one direction - more attacks/exploratory bites. How far it goes is the unknown. It may just be a little more dangerous than the past 30 years. It could become a significant shift particularly with year after year of cage diving to train them and if there is any learning from shark to shark (they do hunt in pairs) to pass on new hunting / attack approaches.

Seal pupulations are increasing fast and in the USA large colonies now sit on beaches not far from popular swimming beaches resulting in measured increased visitations to these places where previously they would have rarelt bothered to visit.

Spot them, tag them, count them all you like - none of this will change these shifts. Either numbers need to be reduced or through something like extensive use of electronic repellants devices worn by us or anchored dummies (if they work to a reasonable extent in annoying deterring them), we need to train them to avoid humans.

Frogg