Recent shark activity.

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kbomb started the topic in Monday, 23 Nov 2015 at 5:49pm
Wharfjunkie's picture
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Wharfjunkie commented Friday, 27 Nov 2015 at 4:58pm

freeride76 wrote: Hahaha I predict a slight backlash to that idea WJ. Shark man I do think this is a new normal.

Little far fetched but why not grant licenses to the charter operators and rec anglers to catch and tag the GWS?

tootr's picture
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tootr commented Friday, 27 Nov 2015 at 6:40pm

Wondering how quickly the Ballina greens senator would want a dog shot if it bit her kid.

tonybarber's picture
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tonybarber commented Friday, 27 Nov 2015 at 7:33pm

tootr wrote: Wondering how quickly the Ballina greens senator would want a dog shot if it bit her kid.

you sure the senator would not be shot before the dog ?
mikehunt207's picture
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mikehunt207 commented Saturday, 28 Nov 2015 at 12:17am

Same arguments different names (well some different names anyhow) , different coast. Not much will divide local opinion like the shark solution as we experienced here too in WA the last couple years. Uncle Leroy still an "expert" now exporting his opinions east, as unbiased as ever. I remember sitting watching the surf overhearing a couple of 'soccer mum seachangers" in a carpark at the beach pushing their kids into boardrider club bullshit world, they were talking about how all the sharks should be just wiped out to make it "safe" for their potential team riding hotshot spawn. How can you argue with that mindset? been around our town and the surfing world for 5 minutes. Maybe catching a heap of Tiger Sharks to the surprise of even the fisheries and zero Whites, off WA during the drumline fiasco, shows more about taste and hunting techniques of both the sharks and hunters than actual shark numbers. Who ever thought a shark that likes to eat fatty mammals would be caught with fish bait on a line? maybe hang some live seal or some whale blubber and you may catch more of them if thats the goal? Tagging and dragging them out to sea will most likely result the same way as just letting them die on the drumline, very traumatic on the fish if it doesnt just drown, very expensive to run not to mention having a team ready to tag and release 24hrs a day seems unrealistic but the notion may sell the idea to a lot more of the population and with summer upon us these beach holiday towns local councils have to be seen to be doing something before the economy suffers too much. It will be interesting to see how many Bulls and Tigers start to get pulled out everyday with this program and if they get any results with the Whites. At least tagging and research are being suggested this time which is a start but the answer may be a longtime coming whether you like it or not.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Saturday, 28 Nov 2015 at 8:07am

Depends on whether they make the info known to the public....already the tagging program they've done has produced some information more valuable than the every cunt with an opinion variety on the internet.
Not sure what they will bait the drumlines with but they've had zero problem getting them to bite a baited hook for the tagging program so if they use that then they'll have no probs getting the whites to bite.

No more whites over west Mike? Do they seem to have moved on?

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Saturday, 28 Nov 2015 at 8:26am

freeride76 wrote: No more whites over west Mike? Do they seem to have moved on?

The fact these events have been in clusters - i.e sudden escalation in attacks - seems to sugest they're anomalies rather than the 'new normal' as some have suggested. Normality suggests there's some kind of balance and that, at least going on other aspects in nature, doesn't happen rapidly. It's a slow process, often imperceptible.

The fact these clusters - SW WA and N Coast NSW - were sudden make me think that they'll conclude with similar speed. Of course, the public fear wil linger but that's another matter.

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sharkman commented Saturday, 28 Nov 2015 at 8:48am

shark clusters , anomalies , 9 attacks in 4 mths 6 dead ,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_December and there was a whaler working in the area .

If you look at the ever increasing stocks of whales , 296 seem migrating Nth in 2000 , 20 K 2014 , dead whale carcass's have increased from a couple pa , to 30-40pa , still increasing , more shark food , more sharks , this is the new eco system that is evolving!

x

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lostdoggy commented Saturday, 28 Nov 2015 at 10:03am

Did you get any further with your buried whale carcass investigation sharkman?

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Wharfjunkie commented Saturday, 28 Nov 2015 at 10:23am

sharkman wrote: shark clusters , anomalies , 9 attacks in 4 mths 6 dead ,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_December and there was a whaler working in the area .

If you look at the ever increasing stocks of whales , 296 seem migrating Nth in 2000 , 20 K 2014 , dead whale carcass's have increased from a couple pa , to 30-40pa , still increasing , more shark food , more sharks , this is the new eco system that is evolving!

Is there any statistics on the population of Great White Sharks increasing throughout Australia?
Where is the increased populations coming from to all of a sudden relocate to the balmy sub tropical waters of Nth NSW?

Is this localised number of sharks spreading from increased populations at nurseries across the east coast of Australia and will these sharks mature and become big individual cruisers being replaced with the next generation of juvenile inshore hunters?

tootr's picture
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tootr commented Saturday, 28 Nov 2015 at 10:49am

from my reading there has never been much of a handle on GWS numbers historically, nor is there now, despite them being apparently endangered.

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tonybarber commented Saturday, 28 Nov 2015 at 11:11am

It seems clear we know little about why the 'increased' and subsequent attacks in this area. Going on from what WA did, it seems the immediate solution is to drum line. Sure they will get killed. But this will be a fix for the 'fear' factor and maybe get over the 'anomaly'. Let's cull a few and see what happens. Just hope they don't drag up the catch and display to all and sundry.

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mikehunt207 commented Saturday, 28 Nov 2015 at 11:39am

@Freeride, there has been several sightings over last couple months both likely real and skeptical and always 'Whites", the account of a white shark jumping/ breaching out of the water at redgate seemed a fairly unrealistic esp when you saw the crowd who claimed to see it, while a local maniac freediver had to fend a big one off while bringing up his catch was a more believable account. @ tonybarber, I think the catch and technique should be shown to the masses, big old dinosaur with its guts hanging out its mouth need to be seen as much as all the bycatch , drumlines are fishing period, catch tag and release is different.

seal's picture
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seal commented Saturday, 28 Nov 2015 at 11:42am

Thats right tootr, for too long we've been told they are endangered by "experts" that spend next to no time in the area where the problem is occurring and disregard what local fishermen, surfers and other daily ocean users have observed. To have tagged as many as they have in such a short amount of time tends to suggest that there are a lot more present than first thought and as many locals in the FNC area have said, don't seem to be moving on like the experts predicted.
And as freeride says, they seem to be able to catch GWS relatively easily to tag them on the FNC, so what was the problem in WA? Maybe changing bait to something more appropriate might have been the answer but that's all hindsight now.
Maybe this smart drumline thing could teach them that coming in close proximity to the FNC area ends in a trauma not worth the hassle to them and they may fcuk off someplace else, or it could turn them into nasty vengeful buggers and make things worse but I guess it's worth a try if it helps to control the attacks in the area.
I went for a drive to Ballina this morning and there were a few small waves to be had from Lennox to Nth Wall but only one person in the water. Then I heard that quite a few sharks were sighted between Skinners and Nth Wall so that would explain the lack of people taking a chance on becoming another attack statistic.
If this is to be the normal thing on the FNC, well another attack is only a matter of time again and the inventor of a small ,100% effective repellant, stands to become a very rich person.
Hopefully, said invention is only a short time away, as I know many will be only too happy to buy one and get back to surfing without the higher than normal risk now present on the FNC.

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blindboy commented Saturday, 28 Nov 2015 at 11:50am

I think the Sydney crowds are down compared to the last few years so the fear factor is definitely there.

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seal commented Saturday, 28 Nov 2015 at 12:52pm

And Sydney beaches are netted!
How do you think the fear factor is where there are no nets and 11 attacks in 12 months?!!!
But of course they're all sooks or rednecks, depending on the crap you read about the subject coming from outsiders from the area!

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tootr commented Saturday, 28 Nov 2015 at 1:16pm

And a pragmatic piece in the SMH as opposed to the usual BS

http://www.smh.com.au/good-weekend/be-alert-be-afraid-the-truth-about-sh...

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Saturday, 28 Nov 2015 at 8:13pm

stunet wrote:

freeride76 wrote: No more whites over west Mike? Do they seem to have moved on?

The fact these events have been in clusters - i.e sudden escalation in attacks - seems to sugest they're anomalies rather than the 'new normal' as some have suggested. Normality suggests there's some kind of balance and that, at least going on other aspects in nature, doesn't happen rapidly. It's a slow process, often imperceptible.

The fact these clusters - SW WA and N Coast NSW - were sudden make me think that they'll conclude with similar speed. Of course, the public fear wil linger but that's another matter.

Stu, the "anomalous cluster" theory definitely can't be discounted, I mean after all it seems to be what happened in WA and we might look back on this period on the north coast in a couple of years and wonder what the fuck that was all about.

Just to clarify though, the North Coast sich didn't appear out of the blue. For a few years there was a definite pattern of increased sightings, encounters and non-fatal attacks from whites in the Byron-Ballina area. George Greenough wrote a story for Surfers Journal which I think was reprinted in SW which documented a half dozen of these encounters from his experiences alone. There were more. Here's an example of one. http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/miracle-shark-escape/2007/10/15/1192...
So it wasn't a total shock when these attacks started racheting up.It fitted the observations of more whites in the area. As to what happens now, I hope with the smart drum lines and further tagging we will start to get a clearer picture as to what is happening.

Public fear? Not sure about the Daily Terrorgraph readers in Sydney but the local surfers will forget very quickly if the situation calms down. They're a hardy bunch.

mikehunt207's picture
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mikehunt207 commented Sunday, 29 Nov 2015 at 1:14pm

@seal, it seemed as though everyone from "out of our area" had plenty of opions when we had the shark situation here in the west, better get used to it.. Thing is there is a 100% foolproof way to avoid shark attack, stay out of the water, esp with a name like seal?

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seal commented Sunday, 29 Nov 2015 at 2:05pm

Your absolutely 100% correct Mikunt207. Staying out of the water works but that's not going to help all the surfers, clubbies, swimmers, caravan parks, real-estates, surf shops, board manufacturers etc that rely on locals and other people using the ocean to make a living, if everybody stops doing what they were originally attracted to the area in the first place.
Hopefully it is an anomaly and will soon pass( 12mnths is a long anomaly so far) but IMHO, I think it's more permanent and needs some sort of other intervention if people want to have any confidence in the area again.
Be it Smart drumlines, eco barriers, nets , effective personal devices, whatever, it's hoped that something can be done to bring the attacks under control and be effective. I know they will never be 100% effective but if it can bring incidents down to something like Sydney or Gold Coast experiences, then everybody would be happy and the area would become more normal again.
And yeah, with a name like seal I've got to be very careful whenever I enter the ocean, so I limit myself to short sharp sessions with crowds to give myself better odds of not becoming another statistic. Pretty stuffed when you want to surf in crowds though, as it goes against everything we've always hated, crowded conditions but that's the nature of the beast at the moment.

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mikehunt207 commented Sunday, 29 Nov 2015 at 5:35pm

Same thing happened here,it seemed all the surf shop owners, surf schools operators and tourism types and state gov were the most vocal pro cull crowd on this side, understandable I guess but also seemed to be the most connected to get their opinions out loudest "speaking for the whole community". Tough situation to be in. Making lemonade out of lemons the crowds will drop in the surf for a short while.

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Blowin commented Thursday, 3 Dec 2015 at 9:56pm

This might seem like a big call, but ....snorkeller missing off Lord Howe Island.

Diving 20ms off Middles and disappeared.

Suspect.

Big 'ol Tigers grabbed him I reckon.

An old cobber disappeared a few years back also.

One of the young locals found his head in the stomach of a tiger he caught.

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quokka commented Thursday, 3 Dec 2015 at 10:15pm

50young wrote: 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, "

Gold fiddy.

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Blowin commented Sunday, 13 Dec 2015 at 3:46pm

As of December 2015 , marine biologists are still of the belief that Pointer numbers are not rising and that individual sharks don't repeatedly attack humans.

Some still believe they always hunt alone.

Some believe that attacks on humans are always mistaken identity and that sharks don't consume people.

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groundswell commented Monday, 14 Dec 2015 at 6:17am

I dont believe they are always mistaken i believe its sometimes to scare the person away from their other food source sometimes its to kill the person and let them bleed out before finishing them off.

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frog commented Monday, 14 Dec 2015 at 1:21pm

After watch a few docos during shark week some interesting observations:

- numbers in the USA (and in most areas) can't be huge (but are increasing) as they study, film and tag the hell out of them and seem to have a name for most individuals they see at key spots - so the active hunting by game fishermen a few decades ago would have a had big impact on certain localities killing some big ones
- The adults need to eat a baby seal every few days supposedly (always thought they could go longer than that?) - so they definitely need to hang around good food sources - one group in SA moved from the seal rookery to a deep reef with lots of sting rays - this and tracking show a lot of what they do are quite purposeful and repeated moves focussed on food sources. If you surf in those zones or paths the chances of encounters are way higher than say in relatively barren beach zones with the odd flathead here and there. Byron Bay is definitely a zone of interest for those passing through due to its easterly location and seems to have food stocks of its own.
- the ambush from the deep is much preferred over any form of chase - seals and dolphins can out swim them (one bull seal stole food right out of a GW mouth) he was chased but had no hope of catching the seal. Deep water, low sun angles and murky water all help with ambush. Most have learned to be less bothered when these factors are not in their favour - to surfers and swimmers advantage in shallow water over the years
- in their prime hunting territory they harrass the divers partly out of territorialism it seems
- NZ GWs got very agressive at night (a night dive) - quite a different behaviour to the day
time
- Sharks have characters - some are bold and aggressive, others not so much
- the hunt in groups quite often - two or three would appear at once on many dives
- one young male appeared to shadow a large female to learn how to hunt seals
- there is quite a learning process in their hunting - the shifts to hunting seals took some time, trial and error and observation of other sharks as they grow.
- there was definite intent on getting at the guys in the cages filming them once they got over their initial cautious phase - so humans are prey but when unfamiliar there may be minutes or even much long periods of hesitancy - so again many of us are kept safe by moments of hesitation from passing sharks - we catch a wave and are gone, or look too wierd after a diet of sting rays or whatever.
- All the cage diving and filming and sheer numbers of humans in the water is taking away this key protection of "fear of the unknown"
- river run off and big swells create poor visibility which work in their favour
- different dynamics in the shark ecosystem may cause more aggressive sharks to move it (Reunion island)
- buried decomposing whales must bring them in directly towards the source of leached whale oil in numbers and hungry

Given the many thousands of passing encounters we collectively have never seen over the last 5 decades where no attack occurred, a major conclusion must be that it is critical they don't learn to associate humans with food and stay as unfamilar / fearful of us as possible. That is what has kept us safe to date. Cage diving, burleying to tag them and film, cleaning fish near shore from boats, abalone divers deckies cleaning the fish as they dive, fish farming, too many surfers, kayakers etc are all working against this. Some degree of behavioural change would be occuring. Being in the path of the cage familiar commuters would be particularly dangerous. Things that zap and annoy them: electric shocks, magnets, nets, drum line hooks would work in our favour beyond the immediate on the day impact.

Conclusion? Ignorance was bliss for most of us. The chances of a shark choosing to attack on sight are very low. They are more likely to cruise by looking for their usual food sources than experiment.

But patterns of behaviour and migration repeat, so you can't discount anything that seems to be a pattern or evidence researchers find where your spots are shown to be in specific regular migration or hunting zones. On these counts North Coast NSW has something more to worry about than in the last few decades.

Frogg

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Blowin commented Thursday, 14 Jan 2016 at 10:01pm

Woman loses hand to croc at Wyndham and it's being hunted for extermination.

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Mountainman commented Friday, 15 Jan 2016 at 3:22pm

The Shark debate. Yes I must admit after 45 plus years of surfing that the shark issue is now are forefront of mind, especially around the Northern NSW area. It was also worth noting that in my old playground being Jervis Bay NSW that 100 sharks were spotted there recently in December 15 with 50 sharks spotted alone at Hams Beach. In growing up in that immeadiate area and surfing the Bay, Caves Beach and what is now known as Black Rock very regularly it was rare to ever spot sharks. Those you saw were generally late arvo in summer and were Bronze Whalers in approx 1 foot of water, mainly at a place known as Nudist Beach at Vincentia just next to Hams Beach. I never had the experience in those days of having to get out of the water. Jervis Bay is now a marine park and that fact seems to go hand in hand with the Shark number increase. Previous to this fishermen were able to trawl the whole bay. I have of late been forced from the surf around the northern end of Stockton Beach and most recently at One Mile Beach just near Nelson Bay. It appears the sharks are most prolific in this area during the Salmon and Mullet run season. I have never seen problems on the Sunshine Coast but that is not to say they are not there. Comment I would make is that if you see Dolphins swimming fast then it is time to get out. Common sense should apply particularly at dusk or near river or Creek mouths particularly after rain. In my opinion the safest option to both Surfers and the Environment is the new Environmental friendly Shark barriers. Not a cheap solution and not every surf spot can be protected. Saltwater National park off Taree is an example whereby Tiger Sharks frequent. Ultimately as surfers we enter the sharks domain. That said, so called marine parks seem to pose a greater shark poulation risk. This is with exception to that Stockton Beach stretch from Nelson Bay to Newcastle which is a known Great White breeding and juvenile ground due to the above noted supply of Salmon and Mullet n that area. Stay safe and alert. Use your brains and do not take silly risks. Sun down means get out!

Mountain Man

udo's picture
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udo commented Friday, 15 Jan 2016 at 5:00pm

Blowin wrote: Woman loses hand to croc at Wyndham and it's being hunted for extermination.

Croc caught and killed , hand and forearm retrieved.

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Blowin commented Friday, 15 Jan 2016 at 8:44pm

Got her arm back !

I love a happy ending.

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wellymon commented Saturday, 16 Jan 2016 at 12:00am

I bet you do.

Does it still work!

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

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udo commented Wednesday, 20 Jan 2016 at 9:56am

Buried Sperm whale to be exhumed on Nth Nsw beach due to shark attractment fears :ABC news

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truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 1 Jan 2020 at 12:18am

swellnet exclusive timelines reveal end of 2019 Qld / WA shark Activity.

2019 Exclusive OZ Beached Whale Timeline
https://www.swellnet.com/news/swellnet-dispatch/2018/11/22/buried-whale-...

2019 Exclusive Qld record Shark Attacks / Cetaceans Timeline
https://www.swellnet.com/news/swellnet-dispatch/2018/02/27/factfile-fact...

2019 Exclusive Qld rare Whale sharks / Killer Whales / Omura Timeline
https://www.swellnet.com/forums/wax/13776?page=6#comment-633512

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truebluebasher commented Monday, 30 Dec 2019 at 3:13pm

[SHARK WARNING] Gold Coast - Tweed Coast
Continuous run of large inshore sharks

Recent sightings of note @ Ballina / Byron / Kingy
Hot Spots [*Sharpes Beach] + *Palmy Surf Reef
(Tip: Check in before you surf these spots alone)

29/12 Brunswick River Mouth ^ 2m x 2
29/12 Kingy /\ 3m
29/12 Sharpes Beach ^ 2m
28/12 Sharpes Beach ^ 2m
28/12 Skennars Head ^ 2.5m
28/12 Tallows (Cosy cnr) ^ 2m
27/12 Shelly Beach + South Ballina ^ 2m
26/12 Byron Bay ^ ?
26/12 Angel North Ballina ^ ?
25/12 Main Beach GC ^ 2m
25/12 Palm Beach Surf Reef /\ 3m
24/12 Palm Beach Surf Reef /\ 3m
22/12 Kirra /\ 3m
21/12 Currumbin ^ 2m
20/12 Fingal ^ 2.5m

Past month's sightings were *Sharpes Beach / Lennox / Kingy / Ballina / Pass
Apart from Hot Spots the sightings were usual hangs but busy.
More & bigger in closer than normal for Goldie & perhaps Tweed.
Don't need a bigger hint - the sharks are surfing amongst us...SHARK!

https://www.dorsalwatch.com/report/