North Coast shark activity: A new theory

Nick Brennan
Surfpolitik

I am going to put myself out there to offer an explanation as to why I think we have seen recent attacks and an increase in shark activity of late in the Ballina Region, that is not simply "The Great White Shark is protected and thus there is more of them and therefore more attacks".

I think a lot of you would agree there is more at play than just a potential increase in shark numbers when you have so many negative interactions close together in time and location. I welcome your opinions and discussion. 

But in short: my advice is to be extremely cautious on your choice to surf in Northern NSW right now.

We are approaching new moon on the 15th and I would advise to avoid surfing around the full moon on the 30th altogether. Here is a picture I made of the moon phase on days of negative human/shark interactions over the last 10 months around Ballina.

My explanation for what has been happening around Ballina is based around the “hungry shark” theory.

The recent shark attacks at Ballina are focused around the two lunar cycles after the first whales have made their migration. White sharks are not feeding constantly. Their liver is like a battery and allows them to go weeks and months without eating. White sharks are regarded as opportunistic on their feeding habits with whales, preying on sick and injured whales as well as calves.

This year we are in the midst of full blown El Nino and the humpback whales made their migration up the coast later than what could be considered usual. My belief is the whales being late and potentially more clustered together has resulted in less feeding opportunities for a portion of the white shark population at a key time. My thoughts are that a portion of the population hasn’t fulfilled their need for calories and thus are heading close to shore to feed on schooling fish like the Australian salmon.

As to why the attacks on the full moon, I present two reasons. A long standing saying by fisherman and more recently adopted by divers is “No run - No fun”.

During the full moon there are larger tides and ocean currents also increase in intensity. When the current increases, eddies and stands of water create feeding opportunities for marine wildlife. Wildlife activity increases and aggregates on the full moon and this results in an opportune time to hunt.

The other reason has to do with hunting strategy. On this, sharks have been documented leaving shallow water on the full moon and returning on the new moon. This is something which I myself have recorded with my team in an exercise book during 4.5 years working as a diver at the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef.

The idea is that because sharks use a lot of different senses to hunt their food, low light (new moon - darkness after sunset) and poor visibility allows sharks a competitive advantage to catch their prey. It is also suggested that these sharks do this avoid predation (I believe the attack in January on the new moon not to be the work of a white, but a bull or tiger - the timing would agree too).

White sharks however have extremely good eye sight and use it to identify and hunt their prey. As the full moon approaches there is light after sunset and white sharks are perhaps approaching a time where they are peaked up to get their calories.

As to Ballina? Living, surfing and studying at Ballina, I can say this region from Evans Head to Byron Bay has always been a very sharky area. It is located at the extreme eastern point of Australia, literally a corner in the coastline meaning wildlife tends to bottleneck through there: this is the reason Byron Bay is such a great place to watch whales.

It is also the place where the vibrant - although periodically majorly disturbed - Richmond River breaks the coastline, which plays a role as a nursery for fish and sharks. There are also multiple coves perfect for schooling fish to stop in and reef systems for fish to aggregate just offshore. Right now it is also a place of convergence for a lot of marine wildlife.

In short my belief is that because the whales were late it created less feeding opportunities for the white shark at a key time for them, therefore a small amount of hungry sharks have been getting desperate and peaked up to feed on the full moon. This has resulted in more negative shark encounters in the Ballina region. 

The good news is I don’t believe this will last. Stay safe people. //NICK BRENNAN

Comments

thermalben's picture
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thermalben Tuesday, 11 Aug 2015 at 9:27pm

Fascinating stuff Nick. Hopefully this recent clustering of attacks will ease up soon so things can return to quasi-normality.

longboarder420's picture
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longboarder420 Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 12:56pm

I Dont think anything needs to or should be done to help reduce shark attacks and sightings,
shark attacks are still are very rare thing to die from , Many studies have shown sharks a mistaking people for other marine life... And I think as surfers its our responsability to get to know the local sharks in our area , Theres a big boy named Bruce down here on a tuesday ... Keeps the tourists away ... Stick your head under give him a smile and a wave and your all good,
Paddle around like a kook and your shark bait

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy Tuesday, 11 Aug 2015 at 9:42pm

Interesting theory.
What was the attack in January you referred to that you think was a bull or tiger?

Nick Brennan's picture
Nick Brennan's picture
Nick Brennan Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 9:56am

A girl at wategos who got bumped off her board.

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 10:13am

Cheers. Didn't hear about that one.
I've definitely being opting for the longboard during solo surfs up here recently. Feel much safer on that.

Dave Drinkwater's picture
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Dave Drinkwater Tuesday, 11 Aug 2015 at 10:13pm

Thats good detective work Nick. Have you researched the WA attacks and do they show similar results? I live in East Ballina on Shelly and my observations have been that the water has been relatively warm for the last 2 years. Less rain, so the water has been exceptionally clear, the whales get closer/increase in numbers every year, bait fish have been prolific with the absence of tailor in big schools. What do you think is a long term decision so that we can co exist and reduce the risk of attacks in the future? As you can imagine the last 12 months has rattled the community and everybody has a theory to solve the problem, some a little more extreme then others.

Nick Brennan's picture
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Nick Brennan Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 10:29am

They aren't around the full moon but they are around a similar phase of the moon. This again is not an attempt to justify all attacks ever but offer an explanation as to the recent attacks in ballina. I am totally unfamiliar with the west coast and the marine system there. There are obviously multiple mechanisms for attack- tiger sharks and bull sharks for instance are completely different altogether. Interestingly the poor kid in Coffs that got bit and died happened almost directly on the new moon. This is In keeping with the book i kept of tigers we spotted on the GBR returning to shallow water over the new moon. I agree that water temp was mild last year, it usually dips to 19 were i work on the gbr and it never got below 21, and this year was warm until particularly late and I have been informed by colleagues still up there that there was a sudden cold snap recently. El Nino suggests we are seeing a net cooler body of water on our side of the pacific. Long term solutions- community initiatives like Ballina Shark Alert page on FB are a good start and Kent Stannards who is contracted to the CSIRO gives some good insites on the Ballina Shark Discussion fb page. Again appreciated discussion. Just want people to get talking about what they are observing and thinking.

trotty77's picture
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trotty77 Tuesday, 11 Aug 2015 at 10:26pm

Makes sense the high tides are around 8.30 in the morning and night on those moon phases as well. when people are keen to go for a wave
.lack of injured whales could be to do with a lack of killer whales on the east coast. they kill whales but only eat the tongue and lips leaving the rest for the sharks to feed on.

Nick Brennan's picture
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Nick Brennan Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 8:19am

A more robust whale population for whatever reason is certainly plausible too. The main food source for whites under 3m is fish and beyond that it becomes marine mammals. The sharks around Ballina have been large and hence why I think it is strange they are in close looking for fish.
Full tide tends to see currents slacken or moderate with peak current intensity between tides and therefore more "fun". I was more referring to white sharks potentially being peaked up on these days.

trotty77's picture
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trotty77 Friday, 14 Aug 2015 at 9:06pm

Could the sharks be there on a breeding mision of their own.I cant see them leaving the seal colinies in the south for any reason but to give birth.If the juveniles cant feed on mammals until they are over 3 metres then mum would have to drop them somewhere fishy and warmer.then return south following the whales and new calves.if they are pregnant and hungry it would make sense that they scavenging in closer out of stronger ocean currents to conserve energy . Unfortunately for us surfers we look like injured seals.i say injured because as the shark moves closer we make no a tempt to get a way like a healthy seal would.

Agate's picture
Agate's picture
Agate Tuesday, 11 Aug 2015 at 11:37pm

Totally agree Nick. All true and valid points, importantly stay safe If there was numerous hit and run car accidents on local streets we would all be very careful crossing the road. Still do it but look twice and go with gut instinct.

Nick Brennan's picture
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Nick Brennan Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 8:33am

Cheers. Agreed. You can further reduce your risk by joining the Ballina Shark Alerts facebook page to check for sightings and reporting your own sightings.

Gazman's picture
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Gazman Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 6:21am

Have been saying this exactly Nick , and with the increasing numbers of whales now means an increased food supply which would make for an increase in the White Shark numbers to survive.cheers

Nick Brennan's picture
Nick Brennan's picture
Nick Brennan Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 8:25am

I actually think it has not much to do with population size. If the population of whites was small and were presented with the same situation it might mean 2 or 3 sharks doing the same thing and there would still be problems for surfers. The amount of interactions makes this an unusual event.
On another note the reason they are protected is that if the population gets too small then their may not be enough genetic diversity for the population to be robust enough against a change in living conditions. Genetic information suggests white shark populations on the east coast to contain as few as 1500 breeding individuals.
regards

AndyCarroll's picture
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AndyCarroll Tuesday, 8 Sep 2015 at 11:31am

I do not believe it is a result of an increase in population size per say. I believe it is more tlikely o do with water temperatures and increased prey e.g.. bait fish hanging around inshore for longer this year.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 7:03am

Nick I really appreciate you putting forth this detailed theory.

As a lifetime fisherman, both commercially and recreationally, there's absolutely no doubt that moon phase plays a critical role in biological activity in the ocean. That is well documented.

While you're theory has some utility in identifying riskier times to be in the ocean it doesn't have any answers to the main question of interest to local surfers. Which is, why are these whites hanging around so long and in such shallow water?

That is the 64 dollar question right now.

Also, couple of nitpickings. You mentioned Aus salmon , which are indeed a favourite food source for whites. Only problem is we haven't had any salmon schools this winter, or last for that matter. So there isn't that source of larger finfish schools to hold them here.
Also, you mentioned a January attack? If you mean Tadashi, that was February and has been confirmed by DPI as a white shark.

Nick Brennan's picture
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Nick Brennan Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 8:12am

I think my piece explains why they are still there. They are hungry. They have missed an opportunity and therefore they are getting creative with their feeding to make up for a defecit. Its well documented that white sharks will stay in an area if there is food. I think they will move on when the bulk of the whales come back down the coast in a few months. I am not based in Ballina anymore, just from friends and pictures I have seen how many schooling fish are in the water. Has anyone actually swum out with a mask on to see what they are I am interested to know. The incident I was referring to in January was at Wategos where a girl was bumped off her board. Regards.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 9:00am

Most of the inshore bait balls have been frogmouth pilchards.
Some slimey mackerel but these tend to stay a bit wider.

Nick Brennan's picture
Nick Brennan's picture
Nick Brennan Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 10:31am

yeah frog mouth pilchard are bloody tiny-not white
food. You sure there are not bigger fish smashing them atm? Thanks for the insight.

Lanky Dean's picture
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Lanky Dean Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 2:24pm

The whales most probably would be tasting the pilchards though. Enticing the whites to hang around and have a sniff for calves or dolphins, so to speak.
Thanks for writing the article. very Interesting, yet sad read. cheers Nick

Lanky Dean's picture
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Lanky Dean Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 2:03pm

@freeride76

What has been on the bite lately, you been fishing off the beach, break walls or boat?

Did you commercially fish out of byron/Ballina region?

If so did you keep Data/ log books ?

Nick Brennan's picture
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Nick Brennan Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 7:13am

Morning all. I appreciate the interest firstly this is just my speculation not a conclusive answer. I wrote the piece to bring about discussion because I was frustrated with how black and white the argument had become. It seemed no one could get past the population size of sharks as being the answer when these exact sharks have been past multiple population centres previously without incident. What is often forgotten is that white sharks are dictated by their surrounds and biology and are in a struggle for survival like the rest of us. What is happening at Ballina I believe is an unusual and extraordinary event. So my piece is a guess to offer an idea as to why this is happening in Ballina. Information that came out at the lennox meeting is that there are as few as 7 individual sharks that haven't moved on from the waters around Ballina. This lends validation to my idea, so whilst it is a guess, I am thinking its not a bad guess. Today unfortunately is not a wet day but a work day for me, I'd like to reply to you all it just may take a little bit. Regards

davetherave's picture
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davetherave Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 7:52am

thanks nick, of course there are lots of variables and the lunar cycles have to be considered. But it also must be noted about the intra communication species in animals.
it only took under a year since one crow worked out how to open the tin foil lids on milk bottles and than all crows all over the world started doing it.
it only took less than 6 six months from one monkey washing a special nut in the ocean to clean it before the whole island chain copied the same behaviour.
White sharks have only been attacking people- not eating all of them- maybe species communication has evolved to humans now being once again on the menu for the whites
their numbers are increasing whilst their food supply is dwindling and humans are easy prey.
Karma- we took all their main food sources, now they are taking us- nature finds a balance sooner or later. maybe the moon's cycle is the best time for them to hunt and if no fish, well, a human just might do.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 8:12am

"Information that came out at the lennox meeting is that there are as few as 7 individual sharks that haven't moved on from the waters around Ballina. This lends validation to my idea, so whilst it is a guess, I am thinking its not a bad guess."

With respect Nick, your theory doesn't address this issue at all.

Nick Brennan's picture
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Nick Brennan Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 8:27am

I am not suggesting all white sharks have had a bad year. Just some. Hope that clears it up.

uncle_leroy's picture
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uncle_leroy Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 8:47am

Great read Nick and certainly some valid points.
I don't have any theories however will offer a few points that may or may not have any relation to the Ballina situation.

You referenced El Nino and warm water causing the whales to be late, perfectly fine scenario. However I do not believe that this is the reasoning for the sharks to be in the area. The GWS like the whales, also move because of water temperature, they follow or "should" follow the whales as they move up and down the coast each migration, preying on the weak, young or dead whales. I highly doubt that a large number of GWS are going to set up camp off Lennox or Ballina in well before whale season in VERY warm water and 'just wait' for the whales to come through 5-6 months later. Yes the whites enjoy a bit of warm water but to be set up camp at the end of the cool spring time water, through summer and into the warmest water of the year, something is out of wack.

The theory or 'baitfish' is all true, however it is no different in this stretch of coastline as say Yamba, Coffs, Nambucca, Foster, Seals or Tomaree. All super fishy locations and have a feed of nutrients from estuary or bays. If anything I'd say Ballina river is a less healthy ecosystem due to acid sulphate soils and fish kills caused by all the drainage channels across the farm/cane paddocks. All these locations above have had exactly the same number of baitfish schools, just a few weeks or couple of months earlier as the warmer waters slowly moved north up the coast. The theory of salmon I would also question as my mates are still/were catching mackies off Coffs so highly doubt there would be schools of salmon up Ballina way, happy to be wrong, water just too warm for them. More likely tailor, bonito and small mack tuna/long tails.
This blows the warm water theory out the window in my opinion as the water gets warm every single year with the EAC at some stage during the season and the salmon do not always arrive, but for some reason, the sharks are still there this year with normal supply of fish stocks as to what we would see any other year with baitfish, tailor and tuna.

Full moon - yep, may be a theory but also consider smoother surface conditions a few days either side of a full moon, no idea why it happens but when a family friend pro fisher with 40 years experience, plus his old mans additional 50 years for jew, pearls, trag and snapper on handlines says that the weather is generally calmer in the lead up and few days after a full moon, I would be listening. Calmer surface conditions = lighter winds = better surfing conditions = more people in the water around a full moon maybe as opposed to more shark numbers. Plus the associated big spring high tides around sunrise/set during this period may also have a play in the matter.
As much as we would all like to say "warm water and baitfish" is the cause, this scenario happens every year and this year is no different so there must be another explanation.

Is it as simple as the whales are late? don't believe so. Is it as easy to say that the numbers or juvenile sharks during protection have matured, quite possible, or it as complex as to say that the whales have arrive late (regardless of water temps) due to other extremes. Whale populations has bounced back massively, maybe, and just maybe there is massive competition for their food source down in Antarctica, and due to mankind intervention over the years global warming, pollution etc, that the food source is just not there as it once was for the increased population of whales and they are having to stay down in Antarctica for longer to beef up their fat supplies before heading north. Left field but who knows

With lack of satellite tagging and such an increase in encounters/attacks, the current situation in Australia in general over the past 6-7 years since the WA cycle of attacks has really left authorities with shit over their faces as they/we have simply no great detail available to numbers of sharks actually out there, migration movements and what they do during migration, cruising coastlines or 'set up camp', why do they do this, what triggers movements is all simply educated guess work at the moment due to lack of data which will take +10 years of studies to cover the shortfall, hooking and tagging sharks to close the gap. But only if they start now, seems to be little if none activity from NSW Fisheries to be attempting to tag any of these 'resident' sharks. Unfortunately that leaves people entering the water the next 10 years to make calculated risks when using the ocean.
Certainly a very unusual event going on up the north coast, is it a one off or just a way of the future? No one knows the answer but for the water uses of the north coast I hope that it is a one off situation and everything goes back to sleep and never seen again. It would be such a shame for the beautiful nooks and crannies hiding overnight or secret banks to be on permanent shark watch.
Hopefully someone or mother nature has an answer and everyone can get back in the water for those perfect clean water winter days or sleep easy when your kids jump on their pushy and go for a surf before or after school.
Stay safe folks

trotty77's picture
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trotty77 Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 9:01am

Just heard on the radio people want a shark cull. Mabee a solution would be to kill a couple of whales off the coast. prob wouldnt be very popular but it might remove the sharks from inshore waters to feed on the carcass. That was my point earlier about the killer whales as this proccess would be occuring naturaly . Also if people were food for sharks they wouldn't move from places like bondi .conditions are probably good around balina at the moment for the sharks at the moment and gives a good opportunity for some research knowing tey are there

wingnut2443's picture
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wingnut2443 Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 9:28am

Tin foil hat warning ...

Nick, or anyone else, have you looked at any correlation with Sunspot Activity? It seems from my quick analysis that each recent attack links to a peak on the sunspot activity. With a decreasing cycle of sunspot activity, could it be that this is influencing the hunting and other habits (i.e. proximity to shore, grouping in an area, interaction with no humans, etc.) of the sharks.

Sunspot activity graph here: http://www.solen.info/solar/

Lunar activity is a well known influence on the ocean. Sunspot activity may too?

Nick Brennan's picture
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Nick Brennan Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 3:40pm

Very interesting man... Have you ever heard of Milankovitch cycles? Thanks for that

Brad Pollock's picture
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Brad Pollock Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 9:25am

My granddad knew every stick and tree of the far north coast area and always had another theory about the local shark behaviour which he insisted has always been prevalent.
Years ago, before surfing gained popularity there used to be an abattoir /meat works that used to just dump all its refuse straight into the ocean near Tallows I think - you can imagine the sharks were pretty happy about this cozy arrangement to the point that it became a natural feeding ground to them.
Now many animals have territorial instinct which builds itself into their DNA ..... it passes on to future generations and doesn't just die with any individual creature. I'm no shark expert but my granddads theory that sharks always came back to this area as an instinctive feeding ground makes a hell of a lot of sense to me because he also used to breed pigeons about 60 years ago and their descendants through many generations still sit on the roof of his old house.
Just counted 42 pigeons and passing on the wisdom of one of the smartest old guys you could ever meet .....

Lanky Dean's picture
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Lanky Dean Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 2:17pm

*"We used to dread surfing off the meat works. They would wash the floor ,the blood, hair and offal would drift past the jetty. Sharks would hang around tantalized."_ Bob McTavish

pulled from The Surfers Journal vol 17 no 5 Byron Bay article written by DC Green .

Blob's picture
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Blob Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 11:04pm

Moon phase, water temps/currants, whales, more people in the water etc etc etc.
Everyone has a theory/guess but we need more data and less greenie propaganda.
My local fact is I've never seen individual sharks hang around for weeks like they were on the NSW South Coast this summer.
That shorline marine reserves are there to increase the numbers of the fish that sharks may feed on and that shark protection is there to protect shark numbers are not theories. 1+1=2
The politics goes like this - most people agree with the environmentalist angle until enough people get attacked then sentiment shifts toward favouring culling options.
Bad luck for the guy that got ate.
We need a lot more analysis like this article to build up an informed picture then a strategy that protects people first and sharks second. See Reunion island and Western Oz
There is a legitimate risk in surfing but I can't stomach all the lame arguments that invariably imply that sharks are more important than people.

Nick Brennan's picture
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Nick Brennan Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 10:10am

See discussion on Ballina Shark Discussion fb page re: Kent Stannard who works with CSIRO for solutions. Interesting observation about south coast. Were there many shark interactions do you know?

jimbrown's picture
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jimbrown Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 11:49am

Blob, why are humans more important than sharks? Many seem to take this as self-evident, but please justify it, as you see it.

Blob's picture
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Blob Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 11:08pm

Thanks for proving my point
.... I wonder, do you eat fish?

jimbrown's picture
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jimbrown Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 11:34am

I haven't stated my position at all, how did I prove any point of yours? I wonder where you're coming from when you assume a human life is automatically superior to a shark's but haven't said why. I can make myself even more clear if you want

tim foilat's picture
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tim foilat Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 11:43am

Don't take the comment seriously jimbo, blob has difficulty forming a rational argument, his ecology reference was written a couple thousand years ago. Perhaps a little out of date but it clearly places humans at the pinnicle of supernatural design and therefore above any other animal or organism on the planet, some people just think like that.

Blob's picture
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Blob Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 7:58pm

Oh just let it go Timmy. I know you got your fingers burnt but you need to just build that bridge

Blob's picture
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Blob Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 10:09pm

Well, you know, being a human myself I am kinda like every other species that prioritises my safety over other species that want to eat me. Is that self evident enough for you?

tim foilat's picture
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tim foilat Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 8:49pm

Awesome :)

jimbrown's picture
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jimbrown Friday, 14 Aug 2015 at 9:54am

Cool mate, well said. So taking that logic further, surely other species interested in self-preservation - which as you say, is every other one of them - would tend to stay away from those environments that present a greater risk of being eaten, only venturing there out of pure necessity (i.e. no other food sources available at all)

Blob's picture
Blob's picture
Blob Friday, 14 Aug 2015 at 9:49pm

What are you saying exactly?

jimbrown's picture
jimbrown's picture
jimbrown Thursday, 10 Sep 2015 at 11:39am

I'm saying that you're coming across as a deadshit. You have recognised that you're as much a part of the Natural order of things as every other living thing on this planet - " I am kinda like every other species that prioritises my safety over other species that want to eat me" - and then you're baulking at the logical conclusion to these Natural laws: that is, if you want to prioritise your safety, don't go somewhere dangerous, unless it's absolutely necessary. Let me spell it out for you, because you seem to be struggling: if you don't go in the water, it is not going to kill you

tonybarber's picture
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tonybarber Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 10:45am

Interesting points … but I can't any reference to increased human usage of the waters in question. However, is there a preferred method to handle the situation in the short term ? Maybe netting ? Sea patrols from the air ?

Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 10:47am

A new theory???
Clarkes Beach? 2014? full moon sept 9?????
Free ride? Simba?
The "10 point plan"? Remember that?
By memory, Ben had to shut the thread down due to abuse...... Where is that thread, Ben? The search engine doesn't work.....
Nick, as an old fisheman with decades of ocean experience, perhaps Ben, Craig, or stu could direct you to this thread I speak of, where I was lambasted for discussing the correlation of moon phases, tides, seasonal bait runs, rain, and shark attack...
Cheers...

Nick Brennan's picture
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Nick Brennan Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 11:51am

Hi Sheepdog, this is actually a copy of a facebook post i put on a small forum. I was approached to share it on this page and was not responsible for the title and agree these are most definitely not new concepts. I appreciate that everybody has kept civil on this page. Spear fishing was a big part of my life and some of the most detailed and knowledgable people I have ever met are spear fisherman because they are putting themselves in a position where they are actively part of the system. You appreciate where things are and when and often wonder why things are so. Would love to hear more from you. Regards

thebreaks's picture
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thebreaks Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 11:57am

okay, so i am officially razzed out since i have surfed very recently at both boulders and suffolk park - the latter out there on my lonesome a few mornings. *but* i just wonder (being a surfer, not a fisherman) what is the background number of white shark sightings by those out there all the time. part of my brain is still arguing that a bunch of white sharks are roaming out there all the time and we are just looking really hard for them at the moment (i know that doesn't explain the recent encounters, but hey i still want to relax and surf okay).

AndyCarroll's picture
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AndyCarroll Tuesday, 8 Sep 2015 at 11:35am

I surf both spots regularly and the past winter have had 2 sightings of what I belive where Whites but also numerous times I've got out as spooked by baitfish running and general shark feeling. True they are there all the time but feels more threatening this winter poss. due to increased attacks and media reports etc.

oiley's picture
oiley's picture
oiley Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 12:11pm

the government needs to commit serious money like $100 million to conduct proper research and tagging on white shark migration, only then will we get conclusive answers

Clivus Multrum's picture
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Clivus Multrum Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 12:15pm

You took the words out of my mouth, Oiley. Good contribution to the general discussion too, Nick Brennan.

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Craig Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 12:21pm

Especially when tourism dollars are at stake.

redsands's picture
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redsands Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 12:53pm

Agree with Blob.
From 1986-2010 I saw one shark.
Since 2010 I've seen four.

Blob's picture
Blob's picture
Blob Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 11:35pm

I surfed Seal Rocks to Forster on many trips as a kid - no shark issues.
Recent trip I had locals telling me about so many shark interactions....first surf at Number One the two surfers who paddled out before me were already coming in ....2 sharks a bit close......next day I surfed One Mile and a 6 footer went directly under my board in 5 foot of water.
The great white hanging around Warilla/Shellharbour again this summer has been given a name - Bruce. Werri had resident 8' bronzie(s) for weeks. Never seen that before.
This is only anecdotal I know, but jeez!.
I'm pretty fatalistic but some lates are looking more iffy these days.

calmbutnot's picture
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calmbutnot Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 1:26pm

has anyone looked at the shark/fish/whale activity from the last el nino ?

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Montygoesbananas Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 1:31pm

Interesting theory Nick, seems like a lot of the old how to avoid shark attack adages like avoiding dusk and dawn etc. are being revisited with the recent spate of activity. For what it is worth, I have done a fair bit of fresh water fishing mostly targeting native species like Murray Cod and Golden Perch, but also trout. Definitely two keys to a good session for inland fishing are a full moon, and also a rising barometer. This has also applied to my ocean fishing but perhaps to a lesser extent. Not saying that this applies the same to GWS, I guess just making the point that I believe the feeding patterns around full moon for inland fish are clearly not tide related, there is some kind of biological response to the phase of the moon and also barometric pressure. It could well be that it is the impact this has on hatching of insect/aquatic life that the fish are tuned in to as opposed to being hardwired to only eat on a full moon, whatever the reason it is really complicated and as you point out there are most likely a number of things within the ecosystem that are creating a trigger rather than one single thing.

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Clivus Multrum Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 3:41pm

This may be the first time a Monty has made a worthwhile contribution to a Swellnet forum.

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Sheepdog Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 1:37pm

Craig... No.. Not the one... but thanks for trying.... Nick, the thread was around the time of the englishman being fatally attacked at Byron in Sept 2014... It was right on the full moon, on the higher side of mid tide, directly in front of a rainwater creek spilling murky water into Clarkes beach.... I simply gave a list, a more more you tick that list, the more you increase the chance, slim it may be... By memory something like this;
within a few days of a full/new moon.
Rain from previous days creating less that ideal water quality
dawn/dusk
surfing on mid tide or above
seasonal bait/migration
deep drop offs
reefs/points /roc
by yourself
pissing in your wetsuit
jingly jewellery..

Again, by memory, sept attack at clarkes beach - highish tide, bait and whale migration, full moon, nutrient rich fresh water running into ocean directly at attack location, wetsuit worn but understandable that practice of urinating in wetsuit can't be verified... That's a possible 5 out of ten off that list...

Feb 9/2015 attack Ballina - heavy rain followed by consistent rainfall for at least 8 days previous;
http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/dwo/201502/html/IDCJDW2022.201502.shtml
Mid incoming to a very high tide..
http://tides.willyweather.com.au/nsw/far-north-coast/richmond-river--bal...
Moon phases;
http://museumvictoria.com.au/planetarium/discoverycentre/moon-phases/moo...
Do not know if he was wearing a wettie... Do know some crazy warm currents with migrating fish were occurring late last summer... By memory they were catching coral trout off Bermagui... I think Craig had a really interesting article on that...

July attack Byron....july 2 I think...
Massive rainfalls just before attack
http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/dwo/201506/html/IDCJDW2022.201506.shtml
Moon phase;
http://museumvictoria.com.au/planetarium/discoverycentre/moon-phases/moo...
Within 90 minutes of high tide...
http://tides.willyweather.com.au/nsw/far-north-coast/richmond-river--bal...
Wetsuit worn..... Winter baitfish....

Now I know that in this modern world, it is totally impossible to only surf on a low tide on a sunny day,right on a 1/4 moon at 11am, to leave the surf to have a piss, and to scan the water for any batifish.... Yeah I get that.... All I am saying is that the more you tick the list, the more wary you should be.... That's all..
For example, it's dawn, 1/2 hour before high tide, it's been raining, the water is murky, but your favorite deep water reef is pumping, AND you've got it to yourself.... As you paddle out amongst the scattering bait fish, your bladder waked up.... The colder that average water thanks to the heavy rain triggers it, so you piss in your wettie, and enjoy the warmth...You marvel at the whales 500m out..... You adjust your jangly braclets and necklace, and wait for a wave.......... Idiot..... lol ;)

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longboarder420 Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 2:45pm

SHEEPDOG, Your list is wrong, althought many of those things can increase your chance's of getting attacked, (WELL WE THINK IT DOES)I Still believe shark attacks are a random think with nothing to do with the weather or time of day, Me and my freinds have always surfed before and on first light, rain hail or shine by ourselfs most mornings, Am i Dead , no ? Some times At a reef break just to the right an around the corner of NEWCASTLE HARBOUR with a huge drop off , you just gotta be unlucky i guess.. people get hit by cars more then sharks, lets lock that down abit more lol......... Also peeing in your wettie as been proven that it doesent effect sharks at all , same with the yummy yellow theroy

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Sheepdog Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 2:48pm

I too surf at dawn.... But you seemed to have glossed over the post... I wrote;
" I simply gave a list, a more more you tick that list, the more you increase the chance, SLIM IT MAY BE"....

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thermalben Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 2:48pm
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Sheepdog Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 3:50pm

No, Ben, but thanks..... I'm sure it was around the time of the Clarkes beach attack in Byron, sept 2014, where you guys published aerial shots of a GWS not long after the attack.... This was the event..
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-09/man-killed-by-shark-at-byron-bay/5...

The discussion got quite "hectic", with emotions running high, understandably so in the shadow of a fatality... Free ride and I had a bit of a heated debate (as we sometimes do lol)... But there were some fairly good points in that discussion.... Things then got out of hand when some bloggers who I wont name started playing the man and not the ball.... So i think you shut it down..... The only reference google search will give me is a fun jibe I gave simba in a forecast thread some months later;

"Sheepdog commented Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 at 5:37pm
Yes...... It does...... He knighted me for my 10 point plan to avoid shark attack, Simba............. ;)

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simba commented Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 at 5:39pm
hahaa"

I'm just glad this discussion about shark habits is being brought up again.... As I said, the more boxes you tick, the bigger chance of attack , SLIM IT MAY BE.......

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fitzroy-21 Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 1:44pm

As a long time commercial and occasion charter line fishing skipper on and around the GBR, the moon phase has always played an important part in the oceans ecosystem. As you mentioned, no run – no fun. My observations, backed up by catch records and log book entries, have consistently shown that for line fishing, the 4 days leading into, and to a certain degree, 2 days leading out of a new moon has seen significant catch rate increases. Not just with the likes of reef fin fish, but with pelagics (mackerel, tunas etc) also.
Sheepdog may be able give more insight with the prawns, but my understanding is that the full moon is not as productive.
So it would make some sense that shark activity would work in correlation with these phases.
I’ve got to mention that I have never seen so many whales around the Bunker Group than I have this season. They are everywhere. But to date this season, I have only seen one medium sized GW, which was late last week.

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Nick Brennan Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 8:05pm

I lived in the Bunker group for 4years (best not to mention where) so we may well have met-we may have even shared waves together out there (it gets pretty lonely sometimes lol).. I'm very interested in your catch data, we still saw lots of activity on fhe full moon but we were under the water. The strong currents associated with the large tides of the full moon creating big swirling eddys and this put the plankton in one spot and then the rest of the wildlife sort of follows . I'm interested- were your peak days fishing after dark on the new moon or during the day also. It would make sense a lot of those big predatory fish would respond to the new moon similar to a lot of sharks utilising it for hunting. My mates that are still there also can't believe the whale activity this year. We have only ever seen one white whilst diving and prompted us to close the beaches for two days however listening stations that receive a barcode from acoustically tagged animals suggest they go through their quite often. How often are you seeing them there?

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fitzroy-21 Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 8:29pm

Hi Nick, very good chance we have shared waves in the area. It can get crowded at times, but if you're onto it, like you said, quite lonely too sitting in the line up all alone. Knowing when and where to go generally reaps the rewards. I've been based here in the area for about 15 years now.
Mostly fishing days, but on still nights would venture wide onto the shelf drop off. If the sharks would become a problem (as they did when fishing well) would just move a mile or two. It didn't bother me too much as it stopped you parking up at a spot for too long. A type of farming so to speak, keep the stocks healthy.
Last year I think it was 3 or 4 white,s mostly average size, with on particularly large one at about 5M. Previous years were similar or less. Mostly feeding on a carcass or surprising me by just showing up, having a cursory look, and then moving on. I'm not always around this area, depending on the fishing, I can end up around the Straits.
Big Tigers and whalers/bulls are the more prevalent species as I'm sure you have witnessed underwater. I don't really recall any time where there would be more or less around. Pretty healthy stocks. But I have just noticed more than usual numbers of whales. It's actually great, they come right up to the boat and there shear size is mesmerizing. they are constantly jumping and tail/fin slapping everywhere.
Catch data should be available to anyone if you contacted fisheries, that's who keeps track of all our data, providing the fisher accurately fills in the log correctly.

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roachdog Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 3:41pm

Interesting you mention the water is currently warmer than normal in Ballina. I live in South West WA and when we had the run of attacks over a couple of years, the water (especially in & around summer) was warmer than I ever remember. The Leeuwin current was swinging all the way down to Denmark and all sorts of strange fish were being caught in the wrong places. We didn't even get the usual Easter salmon run for a couple of years. I know GWS's are meant to like cold water, but those couple of summers of surfing in boardies were when there a GWS sighting almost every 2nd day without exaggeration. We have had normal currents the past couple of years & incidents/sightings seem to be nothing like those years with the warm currents. Just saying!!!!

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Craig Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 4:09pm

And that was a result of a strong La Nina, with the Leeuwin Current strengthened pushing that warm water south and then around towards SA.

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saltyone Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 4:08pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Niño.
the el nino affects different parts of australia.. mainly the east coast. effect has huge impact on migration of whales and fish. .. . and this in turn effects sharks feeding habits. the el nino pattern is only temporary.

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woohcs Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 4:55pm

All this shark talk is bringing out the war stories from phillip island too. Got talking to a few ol boys on the weekend, and they said, a few decades ago the was only one BIG shark around the island. Apparently curious, and loved to pop up and say g'day, but never caused any grief. Then along came some TV famous fisherman(can't remember the name) that caught -and displayed to great media attention this curious but otherwise passive shark. Apparently the next few years the waters around the island were a bit dicey, with guys getting nudged, bumped, and prodded by a range of slightly smaller newcomers...
Do sharks keep seasonal territories like alpha male gorillas, bears etc?
Has an alpha been taken from the waters around Balling in the recent past?
Should I take these stories with a grain of salt as simply co-incidental anecdotes from old guys, and keep my 2 cents to myself?

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Nick Brennan Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 5:17pm

I think I know the exact shark you are talking about because I grew up with the story too... Did you call it "the bus". We used to joke about catching the bus back in on the long swim back from big left at flinders...

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lostdoggy Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 5:30pm

Is that the one Vic Hislop caught in he 80s and displayed it around?

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prothero Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 9:02pm

the smaller ones do give the bigger ones a wide berth....a non aggressive apex predator can only be a plus

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udo Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 5:29pm

Sounds like the one Hislop caught .
Phillip Island Historical facebook page has pics of the beast.

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simba Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 5:45pm

Im pretty sure the one big Vic Hislop caught and displayed was caught in Morteon bay and was 19ft long if my memory is correct.

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freeride76 Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 6:29pm

I fish and surf every day in this area and have done for 20 years.

This year has seemed bog standard normal in terms of most parameters.
EAC flowed normally most of the summer with average numbers of pelagics, bit down from last year. Average summer rainfall.
Minor/moderate flood in the Richmond early May which led to a normal mullet run.
Average tailor/jew season with normal concentrations of bait, tending to heavy during the later winter as normal.
Winter rainfall has been average, showing a slight deficit as we move through July into August. Not as dry as one would assume from a developing El nino. Water clarity has been good most of the winter after the May flood cleared up mid-late May.

The only thing that is standing out as different is the lower observed numbers of inshore dolphins. Whites greater than 3m need more than bait schools to feed on. They are mammalian predators at that size or transitioning towards that.
The only educated guess I can make as to what they are feeding on is dolphins. They sure as shitt aren't out wide feeding on whales. They are in close.

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lostdoggy Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 6:50pm

This is my first year in the area FR; are there really lower numbers of dolphins this year?
Surfing north wall and Shelley's throughout the year, I reckon I see dolphins 9/10 times during a surf there. Sometimes heaps of them.
Don't see that many in Lennox though, maybe 2-3/10 times and in smaller groups.

And Simba, Vic definitely caught a huge GWS at PI and photos with a crowd on the beach.

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simba Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 7:00pm

yeah not saying he didnt ,seems to have been around more than i thought the old Vic.

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simba Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 6:59pm

I think freeride is on the money here, dolphins would be good chewing to a great white, lots of soft meat and fat and they do hang close to the beach a lot along with jewfish at times so could explain the attacks on surfers boards which would be around the same size as a dolphin or big jewfish [very big] same white under bellies.Dosent mean that there are not plenty of whites further out tracking the whales as well.

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blindboy Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 7:13pm

The problem with the various hypotheses about shark attacks is that they are very difficult to back up with valid evidence. Attacks occur with such a low frequency that it is impossible to distinguish between a cluster of attacks that occur as a result of an environmental factor and those that just represent a natural fluctuation in the random distribution of the events. In that way they are even more difficult to analyse than cancer clusters. That said I would follow Nick's advice for the time being!

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freeride76 Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 7:32pm

LD, that seems to be what is being observed, not just by me but by long term ocean people like Chris Brock and Greenough, who spend every day in the ocean.
I can't think what else would hold a large predator like a white shark in one area for so long. It's the only thing in enough abundance that could sustain them.

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Nick Brennan Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 7:50pm

This is great discussion and I love how it hasn't just resorted to a battle of rhetoric. The thing I have learnt most from this is that people don't want to have a cull rammed down their throat in these forums, they are genuinely curious as to what is going on. Regards guys will tune into these forums more often.

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freeride76 Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 7:52pm

Long as no-one mentions the war we're pretty safe Nick.

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Dfactor Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 8:33pm

I surfed northwall pretty much daily from May to august 2014 and noticed a lot of dolphins each surf mainly riding waves. Pretty standard to have dolphins jump out of a wave.
However the most dolphins I saw was directly after the bodyboarder attack july. the next weekend I walked around to Shelleys standing on the look out I would have been 40 dolphins probably the most I have ever seen in one spot. They appeared to be feeding on bait fish and were not very active ie not much jumping just feeding. I have noticed after that weekend though that there numbers have reduced pretty rapidly. Havent been seeing many when up the lookout recently. Definitely plausable sharks have been going for them
Last year I cant recall seeing many whales. This year standing at shelleys look out could easy see 15 to 20 in an hour space. Close to shore too

Definitely I think huge whale numbers are attracting sharks.
I also feel the water is a couple degrees warmer than last year. Was wearing steamers last year and only short arms this year. Not sure how the warm water effects whale migration

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prothero Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 8:35pm

interesting read, thanks...White Pointers (i read somewhere) prefer cooler waters and your likely hood of attack by a white increases the further off shore you go ( into cooler waters) In SW WA when we had a large number of fatalities (2011) we had unprecedented warm ocean temperatures. The Leeuwin current ( warm water current from the north) was very strong in 2011. One theory about the coincidence of the highest recorded ocean temps here and our highest amount fatalities in the said year was cos the warm ocean temp from the north 'trapped' the sharks closer to shore....

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Nick Brennan Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 8:17am

The CSIRO released a paper quite recently showing tagged sharks going about as high as Rockhampton suggesing they have a subtropical distribution just as much as a cool/ temperate distribution. Interesting idea though.

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Nick Brennan Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 9:41am

could easily have moved food into a more well defined location.... you may have something

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peterb Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 10:28pm

I was talking to a bloke who went to the Lennox meeting the other night, he said that the pod of between six to eight great whites so close to shore between Evans head and the Bay, and over such a long period of time was unprecedented ... nobody argued that point.
We are going to be in an decline up here, surfing-wise, for quite sometime.

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Stevepalace Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 10:29pm

it seems like everyone has an opinion on this matter and a little piece of evidence to back up their theory. BUT no body has any concrete evidence to provide a solution to this problem, if we can call it one... I think that this is going to take some time (maybe years) to understand. Researchers are going to need time to collect data and test theories and hopefully come up with some solutions on how to avoid shark attacks. Until we better understand the oceans that surround us the best thing to do would be be more aware of your surroundings and realise that every time you paddle out you are in their territory (the sharks) and you must respect that. Help us all if we start culling sharks because we think they are murderous killing machines.

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trotty77 Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 10:37pm

Lots of good ideas floating around all make sense.what doesn't make sense is us still going in the water while they are around.or wanting them killed so we can still feel safe surfing.If sharks are being spotted at your break the risks are way higher than normal.you wouldnt swim in a crocodile river.

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Nigel Nosedive Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 at 10:38pm

Thanks for putting forward the hypothesis Nick. I would agree in part that attack clusters like off Ballina (and perhaps south west WA) may reflect some local factors but suggest that their intensity is a signal of increasing white shark abundance.
My view is that white shark numbers are recovering strongly due to protection, a reduction in gillnet fishing effort off southern Australia over the last 20 years and strong increases in fur seal and humpback whale populations.
Perhaps a properly designed aerial survey might be the best way of establishing a time series dataset on the big ones at least?

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freeride76 Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 6:08am

Trotty, with respect , these are ocean tourism based communities.

And the crocodile analogy is apt but not in the way you mean. If a croc becomes a problem it is culled in the NT and removed and relocated in QLD.

Telling people to stop using the ocean is just not a solution. The aboriginal evidence for ocean use in this area goes back to the last Ice Age. Like it or not, the ocean especially the inshore zone is as much human territory as it is sharks. That can be easily observed on any day on any coastline around the world.

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freeride76 Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 6:27am

btw, just with respect to the limited culling of crocodiles, another top order predator with which the shark is often compared.
That has done nothing to stop the recovery of crocodile populations across Northern Australia.
So any suggestion that taking out a few sharks that might be causing problems in one area will cause their demise or the collapse of the food chain is fanciful.

It's pretty instructive looking at the situation with the saltwater crocodile in Australia. Hunted to near extinction, with an estimate of 3-4thousand animals left in the NT in 1970, that population rebounded to 30-40000 in 1984 and then 70-75000 in 94. Current Aus pop is estimated to be between 100-200000. Areas like Darwin Harbour are intensively managed for crocs.

It's likely that with the continuing protection of whites we are seeing the first stages of this population increases impacting on human populations and we are at the start of the same road that Northern Aus is on with the croc.
Some areas intensively managed, some limited culling or removal and a lot of accomodation to living with increasing numbers of a top order predator that can take humans out if they stray into their lair.
Certainly, I can't remember the last hue and cry caused by some latte sipper the last time a croc was shot because it ate a kid. It's now just an accepted part of the Northern Australia situation.

It's worth looking at the NT croc management plan and seeing what the state of play there is with respect to croc-human co-existence.
http://lrm.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/7350/crocodile_manageme...

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trotty77 Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 8:32am

Yeah i guess my view is more a personal choice than a solution for everyone.we had a 4 meter tiger shark that kept our beach closed most of this summer.knowing he was there from aerial patrols,it wasn't that big a deal to go another beach.

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The Gull Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 8:25am

The current 6 or 7 large GWS consistently around Byron/Ballina bares a resemblance to the 3 or 4 large Whites/Tigers hanging around Newcastle over summer and it was documented (and graphically photographed) that they were feeding on dolphin close to shore.

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blindboy Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 8:43am

The situation on the north coast is concerning but it needs to be considered against the overall incidence of shark attack in Australia. There is a clear trend to more attacks but the rate of increase is well below the rate of increase of people in the water so the chance of any individual being attacked during any session has actually decreased. This is not a reason to ignore the presence of sharks but it does suggest that the north coast attacks may simply be a random cluster rather than being driven by the kind of environmental factors being suggested. Sorry I don't have a link to the data on hand right now. I will try to post it later in the day.

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blindboy Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 8:43am

The situation on the north coast is concerning but it needs to be considered against the overall incidence of shark attack in Australia. There is a clear trend to more attacks but the rate of increase is well below the rate of increase of people in the water so the chance of any individual being attacked during any session has actually decreased. This is not a reason to ignore the presence of sharks but it does suggest that the north coast attacks may simply be a random cluster rather than being driven by the kind of environmental factors being suggested. Sorry I don't have a link to the data on hand right now. I will try to post it later in the day.

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freeride76 Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 9:08am

I don't think the data I've seen supports that conclusion BB.

Attacks increased markedly through the first two decades of the 20th century as Aussies embraced the surf, then decreased as shark control measures were introduced and shark populations were actively reduced by fishing effort.
Attack rates stayed very low even as populations using the ocean increased.

In the last 15 years they have increased markedly.

The data doesn't support the increasing population theory.

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Nick Brennan Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 10:50am

We were hunting the species to extinction. This doesn't mean kill every shark it means sustain their populations low enough for long enough that the breeding individuals left do not have the genetic diveristy to be robust to survive a change in living conditions. Genetic information suggests as few as 1500 breeding whites on the east coast

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freeride76 Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 10:13am

Could you link to the scientific information that gives that estimate please Nick.

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Nick Brennan Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 10:22am

At work but heres what a quick google search turned up. An article quoting CSIRO dated Aug 2 2015. Even less than I said. http://m.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/secrets-of-the-great-white-star... Can look later for the actual report.

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blindboy Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 11:25am

Changing patterns of shark attacks in Australian waters

John G. West

Coordinator, Australian Shark Attack File, Taronga Conservation Society Australia, PO Box 20, Mosman, NSW 2088, Australia. Email: [email protected]

Marine and Freshwater Research 62(6) 744-754 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF10181
Submitted: 2 July 2010 Accepted: 7 March 2011 Published: 24 June 2011

Abstract
Although infrequent, shark attacks attract a high level of public and media interest, and often have serious consequences for those attacked. Data from the Australian Shark Attack File were examined to determine trends in unprovoked shark attacks since 1900, particularly over the past two decades. The way people use the ocean has changed over time. The rise in Australian shark attacks, from an average of 6.5 incidents per year in 1990–2000, to 15 incidents per year over the past decade, coincides with an increasing human population, more people visiting beaches, a rise in the popularity of water-based fitness and recreational activities and people accessing previously isolated coastal areas. There is no evidence of increasing shark numbers that would influence the rise of attacks in Australian waters. The risk of a fatality from shark attack in Australia remains low, with an average of 1.1 fatalities year–1 over the past 20 years. The increase in shark attacks over the past two decades is consistent with international statistics of shark attacks increasing annually because of the greater numbers of people in the water.

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freeride76 Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 11:39am

Yes, I've read the paper and disagree with the abstract and conclusions.

Their own graphs don't support the hypothesis.

It's bad science.

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Craig Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 11:50am

See my comment below, science is correct.

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freeride76 Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 10:14am

This is the only data I've seen with shark attacks and population growth plotted BB.
https://taronga.org.au/sites/default/files/downloads/changing_patterns_o...

It clearly disproves that theory.

Attacks rise sharply up until the 30's, then drop off quickly after shark control measures are introduced. They stay low, basically flat before rapidly rising again in the 2000's. This despite a constantly growing population.

If attacks were linked to population we would see a steady increase in attacks , especially in the post-war years when beach use exploded. Instead we see flat rates of attacks despite increasing population up until the 2000's.

I think that theory needs to be gently put to sleep.

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lostdoggy Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 10:20am

Also, huge decline in numbers in the water since Feb 8 attack -> Still big increase in "human interactions".

I know BB is saying the area may be an outlier to an overall trend but something is going on.

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Craig Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 11:39am

"If attacks were linked to population we would see a steady increase in attacks , especially in the post-war years when beach use exploded. Instead we see flat rates of attacks despite increasing population up until the 2000's."

The graph is showing attacks per million people, so trend is flat, as it should be with increasing population from the 40's through late 90's

There is a slight upwards trend the past 15 years but only from 3/million to 5/million.

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freeride76 Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 12:14pm

Craig, the trend line of attacks per million doesn't correlate with the increasing population trend line.

Can you see that?

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Craig Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 12:21pm

Population is just that, a simple line showing its increase over time.

The attacks per million isn't so, it's filtering out the increase in attacks due to the increasing population to show clearly that the number of attacks are increasing in correlation with the increasing population.

Ie more people at the beach =  more attacks, but no more considerable increase in risk to 80 years ago.

There is also the bar graph showing the attacks increasing without the filter, and that is climbing in line (or ahead last decade or so) of the population increase. Hence the increase from 3-5/million.

So the risk has increased from 0.000003% to 0.000005%

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freeride76 Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 12:28pm

"The attacks per million isn't so, it's filtering out the increase in attacks due to the increasing population to show clearly that the number of attacks are increasing in correlation with the increasing population."

Doesn't show that. It dips sharply after '39 and dips again in the 70's. Even as Population increases.

Can you see that?

Craig's picture
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Craig Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 12:33pm

Of course, but since the 30's it's been pretty stable between 2-4 per million.

If you were running stats on this the correlation between increasing population and increasing attacks it'd be very strong.

Blob's picture
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Blob Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 8:28pm

Of course shark population are numbers you don't have on the graph. From what the old guys say the coast held a lot more sea life in past decades.

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Nick Brennan Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 12:57pm

which is probably inside standard deviation. Nice Craig.

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lostdoggy Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 10:40am

http://www.northernstar.com.au/news/no-shark-culls-for-north-coast-beach...

State government say no to cull, but interested in Shark repellants.

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uncle_leroy Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 11:58am

lostdoggy wrote: http://www.northernstar.com.au/news/no-shark-culls-for-north-coast-beach...

State government say no to cull, but interested in Shark repellants.

I wonder if Mr Niall Blair would be fair and a good sport to have his children take part in what he sees as a solution to the problem, to be sprayed with these 'repellents' and placed 600m off the back of Sharpies or a few hundred yards off the Plank as part of the trial.......
Standard Government no [email protected] idea!!
One more attack and the whole of surf tourism and income to small coastal towns can be kissed good bye
Anyone for a surf holiday to Reunion island.........nah don't reckon

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Sheepdog Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 5:15pm

Free ride.... Just for something completely different, Re' population growth "put to bed", I think I disagree :o) lol
Mate, I'm sure we went through all of this in the "10 point plan" thread last sept....
Here's my take on those graphs.....
Up until the 1930s, the surf life saving movement in Australia was in it's infancy... In fact it wasn't until 1935 that the red and yellow flag system was introduced... The vast majority of attacks pre 1939 were actually in estuaries/rivers/protected waters where , you guessed it, the largest human populations were at the time were...
Of the 73 documented attacks between 1791 and 1938, 47 of those were in harbours/rivers/estuaries, where most people at the time bathed.... 7 attacks were "out to sea", as in boating/man overboard.... So 54 of the 73 documented attacks were not in the surf, 47 of which were in populated flat waters....
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fatal_shark_attacks_in_Australia

Now back to the surf.... In 1935, the red and yellow flag system was introduced by lifesavers.... Beach swimming became more popular, as it seemed safer than swimming in sharky harbours.... But WW2 arrived, and many beaches were barricaded, men went to war.... This reflects on the graph you provided....
After the war, the graph you provided seems very steady until the late 1980s/ early 1990s..... This correlates with the "seachange" phenomenon which really gathered pace with the explosion in ironman, surfing and the whole "home and away bullshit scene"..... Home and away btw started in 1988.... Haven't missed an episode........ hahahahaha..... Just jokes...... Iron man nutrigrain starts 1986, Professional surfing exploding, 1980s beachside development....
So I wouldn't put the population theory to sleep just yet, steve.....

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prothero Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 4:44pm

good blurb sheepdog....do you mean 'wouldnt' put the population theory to sleep ?

Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 5:14pm

Yeah.... Sorry, headmaster prothero.... I'll go back and edit..... I suppose I don't get black jelly bean now..... :/

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batfink Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 11:31am

As others have mentioned (cancer clusters comments and others) using statistics for these sorts of relatively rare events is fraught, and easily leads to misinterpretations.

I'm a Business Analyst, so I use stats all the time. Rare events will always throw up random clusters, and human brains always look for patterns in those clusters that aren't there. Daniel Kahnemann wrote a clever book on it, and won a nobel prize studying it.

I don't like the idea of killing sharks so we can enjoy beaches, but fuck that. It's certainly the worst period for attacks I can recall, and in a concentrated area. If there are 7 or 8 seem to be patrolling the area, and have been for months, then I think it's reasonable to cull just that group. Darwin's theories can be put to use, kill off the ones that hang around close to those beaches, those that don't survive to reproduce. We don't know enough even to say whether they 'get a taste' for humans when none previously existed.

Animal behaviour is way beyond my ken. Culling those individuals will hardly endanger the species, even if there are only 1500 breeding adults. Unless they are all brothers and sisters, those 1500 would provide substantial genetic diversity.

I won't be condemning the state government or local councils if they go off on a fishing trip for this occurrence.

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batfink Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 11:33am

BTW, the comments about stats and patterns was not meant to denounce or in any way retract from the learned comments about fish, tides, water temps. lunar phases, whale migrations and other genuinely observed phenomena that are almost certainly factors in why those sharks are there.

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jimbrown Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 12:44pm

Any decision to cull must be made in the context of a changing global, and regional climates.

To play the Devil's Advocate, any cull may inadvertently place a greater strain on the ability of sharks to play their ecological role and contribute to a functional and productive ecosystem, due to stresses imposed by changing ocean temperatures, parameters, etc. caused by changing climates. The stakeholders have to recognise that they are only going off historical facts and trends and these may have go out the window as environmental conditions change.

Something must be done in the short term, but a measure as radical as taking out slow reproducing keystone species is not the one to be rushed in to

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tonybarber Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 12:04pm

batfink…I gather you noticed that few, if any, mentioned the significant increase in human activity in the waters in question. Also as anyone suggested any moved to try to 'move' this men non grey onto other pastures (excuse the pun). Once the bait balls have run, it is fair to assume that these creatures would move on. Fishies would have some good input here, I would have thought.

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Nick Brennan Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 12:25pm

Its fair to think that even if the baitballs stay the white sharks will move on- because they have to. White sharks below 3m main food source fish .Over 3m marine mammals. By all accounts these are very large sharks. My guess is they will leave when the bulk of the whales come back down.

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uncle_leroy Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 12:12pm

Best solution for the short term - catch them, pull onto boat, hose in mouth and run them 25 miles out to sea and release with satellite tags attached
Greenies and latte sippers happy
or if funds are tight...........I'll just leave that at the catching part

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goofyfoot Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 12:21pm

uncle_leroy wrote: Best solution for the short term - catch them, pull onto boat, hose in mouth and run them 25 miles out to sea and release with satellite tags attached
Greenies and latte sippers happy
or if funds are tight...........I'll just leave that at the catching part

Great idea
Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 12:15pm

Jesus christ uncle leroy...... A plan that shuts everyone up...... And scientific data as a bonus.... And politicians with photo opportunities... Fuck me........ ;)

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Nick Brennan Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 12:26pm

lol

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freeride76 Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 12:24pm

The increasing attack/increasing population hypothesis also fails on account of it not being fine grained enough to account for the day to day possibility of encounter.

IE, does a single white shark now swimming between Ballina-Byron have a greater or lesser chance of encountering a human being in the water now, on any given day in Aug2015, than say on any given day in say Aug 1974?

There would have likely been surfers out at North Wall, Flat Rock, Boulders, Lennox Point on any given day in 1974 vs 2015 so the chance of it encountering or not encountering a human and thus some kind of interaction is not necessarily increased now with respect to then.
This coast has been constantly surfed since at least the late 60's.

If the attack/population theory were plausible we'd expect to see more encounters/attacks where there were more people in the water. IE the Gold Coast, Sydney etc etc.
That is not the case.

I think we need a more fine grained, regional hypothesis than the clumsy total increasing population one.

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MickyFanny Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 1:06pm

Nick without requesting to see the research, what you have touched on makes a lot of sense. Are you in the process of publishing something?

If so, may I suggest it be called: 'Sharks and the Moon. The Cosmic Ballet Goes On'

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Clivus Multrum Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 1:43pm

One man's account of pelagic pirouettes by predators from ocean depths

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Sheepdog Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 1:33pm

"IE, does a single white shark now swimming between Ballina-Byron have a greater or lesser chance of encountering a human being in the water now, on any given day in Aug2015, than say on any given day in say Aug 1974?"

It has a greater chance....
The whole of Byron shire had a total population in 1971 of 7831...
http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/ausstats/free.nsf/0/C62D3918BCA99584CA257...$File/1971%20Census%20-%20Bulletin%20No%206%20-%20Population%20and%20Dwellings%20in%20LGA%20-%20Part%201%20NSW.pdf

The 2011 census has Byron shire with a population of 29208... At a guess, you'd have to say it'd be in the low 30000s now.....
http://www.byron.nsw.gov.au/byron-shire

That's a quadrupling of the population... And take into acount the improved roads from S.E Qld for weekend visitors...
There's nothing "clumsy" in these numbers, fr..... But if you can show to me that there were just as many people in the water, from monday to sunday, dawn to dusk, back in 1970, as compared to now, I'll take it into account...

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Craig Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 1:37pm

Exactly SD.

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freeride76 Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 2:45pm

Sorry, you've misunderstood me SD.

I mean on any given day in '74 there would have been surfers at most of the local breaks Byron-Ballina.
The Pass was well and truly crowded by then.

When Tadashi was taken there were 6 people surfing between North Wall and Shelly.
When Matt was bitten there were 4 people surfing North Wall.

You see what I'm saying? On that day to day level there's not a way of establishing significant increases in encounter risk compared to more people in the water.

So in '74 there were 15-20 guys at the Point, now there are 40-50. That's still human beings it is encountering. There's no evidence that increased numbers at any one break is a risk factor.

It might in fact, go the other way, you might be at more risk with less people in the water.
There are far less people surfing this winter than normal and the encounters keep piling up.

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Dan K Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 2:12pm

I've grown up and lived in Forster for nearly 30 years.
In 2007 a few mates and I went shark fishing and hooked up and caught a juvenile white off the beach. We were trying to catch a shark, but to catch a white you could imagine our surprise and shock.....what the hell was a white shark doing in little old Forster? After a few pics we cut the trace and it swam away.
A couple of weeks later I bumped into a guy who told me that a local pilot who flew a microlight from a hanger on Wallis Island in Forster had seen and documented regular numbers of white sharks between Seals and Janie's Corner. I found the guy, and was lucky enough to go on a number of flights with him. On the first flight over Seven Mile Beach we observed three sharks a few hundred metres from Bulls Paddock. They were roughly 50-100m apart from one another with two being at a guess juvenile 8ft and one a bit bigger. They were just behind the break in about 10feet of water. The other two flights were a couple of weeks later and sure enough both flights we spotted a juvenile white but only one this time, hanging the same distance off shore around Elim where 10 surfers were oblivious to the situation in crystal clear water. These flights and sightings were done over the months of July/August. It should be noted that on two of the three flights salmon schools the size of half a football field were on the same stretch of beach. A photographer mate who also went up on a flight with the same operator captured photos of a white in feeding mode on these schools.
The next year almost exactly 12 months later in July I went for another flight in the microlight and sure enough an 8-10ft white was spotted swimming same distance off shore behind the break just south of Elim where again surfers were enjoying a mid Saturday surf in crazy clear water. This time no salmon along the stretch of beach.
6 months later Smiths Lake international photographer Dave Sparkes is knocked off his board by what was later confirmed as a white shark and a month after that a man on holidays is also knocked off his board. this time both at Celito Beach just down the road, however Sparkesy was surfing the river mouth which had only just been reopened.
Since then it has to be said that yes there seems to be a larger number of sightings and encounters down here on the Mid North Coast with no fatalities, touch wood. We may have more conclusive reasons as to why Forster/Seals has more shark activity as I went to a talk by CSIRO Barry Bruce who came to Forster for a public seminar. It was mentioned that there is a white shark nursery around the port Stephens area where hundreds of juvenile whites call home, which makes sense with its regular sightings at Stockton not far south and also makes sense of the more frequent sightings to the north at Forster due to the competition these juveniles face....relocation. Sorry it's long winded but trying to establish a few connections from what I've read above. If they are territorial to specific areas then maybe specific parts of the North Coast are now the new proposed "nursery" for a bunch of these sharks?
The fact that we had huge numbers of salmon during the flights when numerous sharks were spotted within close proximity to one another......sure Ballina aren't seeing salmon, but it's bait balls nonetheless and small baitfish usually attracts larger fish and so forth......could the whites be waiting for the bigger predator schools up there? But then a year later almost to the day we see another white from the air but no bait fish.......simply swimming through the area or is it migratory and visiting/staying at its local haunt from the year before regardless of fish schools or not?
Then the invent of air surveillance. The flight where we spotted the single shark a year later was in crystal clear water just cruising the beach with no bait schools but just a bunch of keen surfers 150m away. Yet no attack or encounter. I can't dismiss it as a fluke that 12 months apart that a white shark can by chance be not just at the same beach but almost the same part of the beach. That's no coincidence. Can the same be said about Ballina? Could it just be that these spate of attacks in such close timing are unfortunate tragic events where person and shark just got too close and shark was inquisitive or hungry? I mean i saw a drone video go online yesterday where it followed a white around Lennox and there was a surfer oblivious to its presence pretty darn close. If that drones not there that surfer is still surfing and that shark is still swimming right by. This surely happens all the time unnoticed right? I think the moon and whale season could definitely have an impact for sure. North Coast is Known for its good fishing for a number of reasons but a big part is the fact that it is so close to the continental shelf. In Forster it's about 30km to the shelf and on the northern migration the whales tend to straight line it up the coast rarely coming close to the beaches. On their southern migration its a whole different story as their calves are coming back and theres non stop breaching, resting etc at the bottom of some headlands. This in itself makes it such a super busy time on the North Coast as the whales are close to the coast both northbound and southbound so maybe that works in the sharks favour.......pick a spot where it's non stop traffic of food?
Sorry for the novel, just thought I'd lend some of the occurrences from down this way.

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The Gull Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 3:26pm

That's unsettling. I surf the Elim/ 7 mile stretch almost every week. I have never seen one myself, but have been called out of the water many times, and had a friend knocked off his board at "Tables and Chairs" about two years back.

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Dan K Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 4:54pm

After seeing them from the air where I'd surfed 100s of times on quite a popular open stretch it was like "wow this is nuts!". But if I weren't there "looking" for them I'd be none the wiser. It's unsettling to think about but it's clearly the norm on a regular basis. It would be a costly exercise but it would be interesting to know over a 30day period just how regular sharks were sighted from the air on a particular area of beaches eg Byron/Ballina stretch. I wouldn't be surprised if they were there in the shallows almost every day. Encounters then are inevitable but if it were done prior to an encounter being publicized all over the media maybe it would prove just what "normal" interaction we are dealing with.

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the_b Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 5:14pm

I used to fish the rocks around foz when the tuna were running. No problems with sharks 15yrs ago but got progressively worse as this style of fishing got more popular. Gave up fishing certain spots as sharks were chomping 8 out of 10 fish hooked. Mainly bulls and whalers but mates saw the odd white. Those sharks cruising around 7 mile probably waiting for a hookup and free feed

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Dan K Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 5:49pm

Being a keen LBG angler myself I think I know the couple of spots near each other you are talking about. Its too crowded there now for the reasons you mentioned about LBG being so popular. And you're right, every day of the Tuna run theres word of guys losing fish to the Bulls out on the sand or the Nurses if you get your fish in close enough to the rocks.

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Blob Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 8:53pm

Super interesting info. I had the same thoughts re Port Stephens/Stockton and juvenile displacement. Drones are hopefully going to tell us a lot more over time.
.... And what a place to ride a microlight. Niice!

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blindboy Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 2:26pm

"At the same time as the increase in population, there has been
a dramatic increase in the popularity of water-based activities
for leisure or fitness. Given this, it would be expected that the
risk of a person encountering a shark would also increase
because they are spending longer periods in the water. There
has been a large increase in beach visitations, indicated by
figures from Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA 2010), of
,100 million beach visitations in 2009, an increase of 20% on
the previous year’s estimate of 80 million. This increased beach
use is also reflected in the SLSA data (SLSA, pers. comm.)
which indicate that there has been a 29% increase in the number
of beach rescues over the past decade (from 10 226 in the 1999–
2000 season to 13 185 in the 2008–2009 season) and an 1100%
increase in the number of preventative actions taken by surf life
savers (from 55 212 in 1990 to 662 955 in the 2009 season). The
popularity of surfing in current-day Australia was highlighted
in a survey administered in 2005–2006, which estimated that
,12% of the adult population of Australian cities participated in
the sport of surfing, resulting in ,1.68 million recreational
surfers in Australia (www.surfersvillage.com, 10 June 2009).
Applying a 20% increase, similar to the percentage increase
recorded for beach visitations, it is conservatively estimated that
there were ,2.061 million recreational surfers in Australia in
2009."

https://taronga.org.au/sites/default/files/downloads/changing_patterns_o...

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 2:38pm

"Applying a 20% increase, similar to the percentage increase
recorded for beach visitations, it is conservatively estimated that
there were ,2.061 million recreational surfers in Australia in
2009."

Those numbers are highly contentious BB.

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freeride76 Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 2:48pm

Also, you'd need to take those numbers way further back for them to have any pertinence to the point at hand.
IE if beach visitations increased in the post war to 1990's period, which would seem a no-brainer and attacks stayed flat or decreased then the theory is shot out of the water.

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tonybarber Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 2:52pm

Some good points stated above. I suggest if you were to use population increase then I would not use the SLSA figures. One, most surfers (those attacked at least) do not generally belong to SLSA clubs. Two, they invariably away from the structured SLSA flag zones. Maybe ask the board rider clubs themselves for membership numbers over say the ten years. The shire population numbers are more representative.
uncle_leroy suggestion above seems plausible - why not.

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simba Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 4:01pm

From personal experience spending a LOT of time in and around the water in the Ballina area from woody head up to the Tweed 9 mile back around the mid 70s to the early 90s spearfishing,surfing and pro fishing we only ever saw one white off the Julian rocks and a possible at the 9 mile off the Tweed.Now ive lost count at the interactions with sharks and some times you couldnt count how many sharks there were specially off Lennox when the mackeral were running but they were mainly different types of whalers,which are bad enough but no whites.Even diving for crays in winter you would think you would have seen the odd one with the amount of time spent diving but only once at Byron,big shark too and scared the shit out of us.Occasionally the guys shark fishing would catch one out wide but they were very rare back in those days which correlates to the above graph attack wise and how now they are on the increase ,surfers and divers are seeing them frequently.

Blob's picture
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Blob Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 9:06pm

Which is why I get annoyed when shark attack story after story in the media have to tell us how sharks are in decline and need protecting ....oh, and how the ocean is their home not ours

tim foilat's picture
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tim foilat Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 9:21pm

'I get annoyed when...the media have to tell us...how the ocean is their home not ours'

Awesome :)

Blob's picture
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Blob Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 10:30pm

Trolls are funny

tim foilat's picture
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tim foilat Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 10:48pm

Are you writing from your home in the ocean :)

Blob's picture
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Blob Friday, 14 Aug 2015 at 9:26am

Like every surfer I spend time both on land and in the water. But of course you know that.
If you have some deep seated problem with me then just spit it out Tim....or keep playing games if it makes you happy.

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tim foilat Friday, 14 Aug 2015 at 11:48am

So the ocean is not your home?

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 4:17pm

Everyone I've spoken to who has spent significant amounts of time in or on the water reports the same thing Simba.
Whalers were reasonably common, especially during mullet run time but whites were very, very rarely seen.
Now , whites are very common.

lolo's picture
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lolo Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 4:32pm

I'm with Freeride - I don't buy the more people in the water = more attacks line at all.

If a shark swims into North Wall looking for something to bite, it wouldn't matter if there are 4 guys in the water or 40. It's still gonna track one of them down and have a chomp. Any correlation or lack of is just mostly random noise.

Craig's picture
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Craig Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 4:48pm

As I've stated elsewhere I just think it's just natural variance and all the activity is currently focussed on the North Coast, as it was in WA a couple of years ago and SA during the 2000's

trotty77's picture
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trotty77 Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 5:02pm

Wow so much cool info and local knowledge being passed around this is what will save lives in the long run.have things settled down in west oz now?they tried a shark cull and never caught a gws

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seal Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 5:05pm

If you look at the graph there is a small spike 1990-1999 then a large spike 2000-2009 and when did the Whites become protected? Do you think that they've had time to breed up to numbers that correlate with the increase in attacks in that decade or still think it's in relation to the population increase?
I also have been surfing FNC and Sth East QLD for about 40 years having spent a lot of time in Ballina and Lennox back in 70s-90s and during the time of easy to get dole payments there used to be heaps surfing both areas anytime there was waves. No attacks of significance I can remember. Then the 2 attacks at Byron of a diver and surfer with nothing much until now.
This spike is very unusual and I'm with Freeride on this, It's related to the GWS population increase not human increase.

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blindboy Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 5:19pm

The most likely explanation is what Craig suggests with perhaps a couple of provisions. As the eastern tip of the continent, the Byron area is likely to see more migrating sea life, including big sharks, than other parts of the coast which creates of itself a higher risk of shark attack. It is also an area in which the population has increased rapidly and amongst that population increase is a larger proportion of surfers than would normally be found. The surfing population is further increased by backpackers and day trippers from the Gold Coast, Tweed and Brisbane. In these circumstances it has to be expected that over time, the proportion of the total Australian attacks occurring in the area would increase. Throw in some randomness and that's it. This is not to say that some of the environmental factors are irrelevant, only that given the rarity of attacks and the number of possible factors, they are impossible to identify with any certainty. The science can tell us a lot but it can also be worth listening to the kind of very specific local knowledge that has been on show here. Finally, if you really want to avoid getting attacked, go in or stay in when sharks are sighted. Maybe it was " just a dolphin" as we all like to think, but if it's big and doesn't show horizontal tail flukes or typical dolphin behaviour, it just isn't worth the risk.

trotty77's picture
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trotty77 Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 5:36pm

Agree blindboy the more knowledge the better putting yourself into a shark hot spot dosnt make a lot of sense to me . Mabee websites like swellnet will be able to do shark reports as well as surf forecasts alerting people of shark activity

udo's picture
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udo Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 5:28pm

Help is on its way says Ballina mayor - ABC online.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 5:41pm

That is interesting , Baird saying no cull but being prepared to look at netting.

That must be the Plan B if there is another attack.

Only thing is , nets are a cull and an indiscriminate one at that.

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African sharkbait Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 5:50pm

As a GWS attack survivor from Cape Town I would like to add:
White sharks are protected in isolation whilst other shark species are being fished, white sharks eat a lot of shark. White sharks are protected whilst there is also general marine bio-mass depletion. So white sharks need to be managed, as in tagged counted, movement mapping.
If there were millions of white sharks after a hundred years of protection a rational decision would be made to cull them.
In other words the situation is artificial, humans have intervened by protecting one species and in time they may have to take difficult decisions like culling or not.

The shark that got me(while diving so I got a great visual) was a very old, badly bitten, parasite covered dude. He probably didn't have it in him to chase a seal.

The debate about culling needs to happen, the scientific community in South Africa are very closed minded about this. You are not going to see a "problem" shark if you are not looking.
At least you lot don't have folk baiting, teasing and feeding white sharks close to busy surf spots!

udo's picture
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udo Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 6:00pm

African sharkbait, could you tell us all about your attack ..in a new thread ?

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uncle_leroy Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 11:02pm

African sharkbait wrote:
The shark that got me(while diving so I got a great visual) was a very old, badly bitten, parasite covered dude. He probably didn't have it in him to chase a seal.

Sounds about right mate
It would be like a 80yr old bloke, smoker all his life trying to keep up with a 1st grade football code/union player, no chance
However one thing different in the Ballina case is that they are not all full adult size specimens, majority in the mid-life size range at a guess, 4m seems to be the familiar number

X 2 would love to hear your story mate

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Sheepdog Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 5:52pm

Seal, if you look at the population growth from 1990 to 1999, you'll see an average spike... Then if you look at 2000 to 2009, which includes that ridiculous housing boom from 2001 through to 2007 (the GFC), it matches up perfectly......
But another thing people have to take into account on the east coast is the protection and increased population of whales.... Whales stocks were decimated... Over the past 3 to 4 decades, their numbers have increased dramatically..... Now the most eastern point of our continent is the "turning point" for migrating whales as they head up to Hervey Bay..... They pass this spot twice a year..
So we have more people in the water.... Over a larger space of time....
We have an increased food source swimming by (whales)... Do we have a whale cull? Do we thin out the food source? Because the larger the whale population gets, the more whites and big tigers will follow.... I'm just asking... it's not what I'd do....
And FR.... You and I are old enough to remember "the good old days"..... This may sound very patronizing to the under 30 brigade, but I don't mean it to be...

The old timers who I learnt off were "ocean men"... It was an era before .COM forecasts... An era when you could score 4 foot Burleigh cove with a few mates mid week..... Back then, you'd hear "hmm looks a bit sharky today"..... And because the crowds were lot thinner back then, surfers were a bit more discerning with wave quality..... For example, in 1974, a murky 3 foot but ok Shelly beach on a cold wet september day would've been scoffed at..... Home for leaf and tip scoobs and a jam....

You'd only see alot of the "bearded folk" come out of the mountains when the pass was pumping.... So yeah, fr, you'd only see 20 odd blokes at the pass.... When it's on...... The pass has to just dribble now, and there's 100..... Shelly just needs an onshore rip bowl, and the sms snapchat crew are onto it.... What I am saying is that back in the old days, "sharky rainy king tide full moon mornings" were often given a miss, unless it was cranking cyclone swell..... And I can't remember the last attack when The pass was 6 foot and pumping.....
So more people, over more time, over more spots, with less ocean knowledge + more whales and therefore more predators..... It aint rocket science....

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freeride76 Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 6:03pm

Problem is Tadashi got taken mid morning on a gorgeous sunny morning with 2ft of swell.
Matt was bitten same time on a bluebird day with offshore winds and 3-4ft of surf.
Wasn't anything sharky about both those days.
Only reason there wasn't more people surfing North Wall that day was because the whole coast was super fun.

I agree with you about the whales.

Thing is though, these whites have been hanging in here, in close while the whales are mostly steam-training it up to Hervey.
It's on the way back in Sep that they really hang out and lolly-gag in close with the bubs.
Now that, is going to be an interesting time around here.

I sure as shitt won't be surfing spring 1-2ft nor-east slop with whales hanging in close

At the moment wave quality is getting me out there. Was coming back from a pre-dawn fishing session off the back of the Point last week and met the first guy in the water every day at Lennox Point on the way out. Still half and hour or more before sunrise. I asked him if he was rattled and he said he was but the passion over-rode the fear.

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Sheepdog Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 6:36pm

Tadahashi was bitten on the first day with no rain for over a week...
http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/dwo/201502/html/IDCJDW2022.201502.shtml

On a mid to incoming tide.... I saw the footage... yes, a lovely day.... But you wouldn't give water quality an "A", would you....

I'll have a dig on Matt.... Cheers, fr

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Sheepdog Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 6:50pm

Matts attack, July 2, 2015

Full moon - July 2
High tide at Richmond River Ballina July 2 - 8.30am

Ballina rainfall
26/6/2015 - 37.2mm
27/6/2015 - 33.8mm
28/6/2015 - 14.8mm
29/6/2015 - 2.2mm
30/6/2015 - 5.2mm
1/7/2015 - 0.2mm
http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/dwo/201506/html/IDCJDW2006.201506.shtml

I can't see the water clearing up that quick, fr..... Ad this to the full moon and high tide.... Well......

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lostdoggy Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 8:17pm

I surfed North Wall that morning, before the attack.
The water was very clear. If you parked at Shelley lookout you could see the brown trail out to sea (was diagonally moving NE), but it was super clear at all the beaches.
There was heaps of dolphins and I saw some whales way out.

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Nick Brennan Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 8:45pm

One of my friends runs fishing charters in the nerang and tweed river- been in the game a very long time and has become very involved with national marine science centre (nmsc) in coffs of late. Would love to use his name but won't. He explained it like this to me. When you get extreme rainfall little creatres like jelly prawn and small bait fish get washed out of small but numerous tributeries. If there hasnt been rain for a long time then the effect is exacerbated. When this happens it obviously stimulates the rest of the system as many fish see it as a time to feed. A lot of fish however can't tolerate the fresh water- or they can but just can't tolerate the change in that shorter period of time. So they come out of the river. The fresh water sits on top and the salt water sneaks in underneath- called a salt water wedge. Predatory fish sit in this wedge to snack on food getting washed out of the river. Deep holes also stay filled with saltier water and these fish are here too. If you have fish spawning up the river you can guess how much food is getting washed out and condensed in a small area

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Nick Brennan Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 8:50pm

Wouldn't take much for a peaked up shark to swim a few hundred metres into North Wall. Interestingly he said the bull sharks don't like it much either suddenly being inundated with fresh water and if they are up there doing there business out they come too for an opportunistic feed. This is why it is never a good idea to surf around fresh water output

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uncle_leroy Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 10:22pm

Sounds great in theory mate but once again, people have been surfing river mouths the whole east coast for 30 years and not getting munched, 4 or 5 big freshes plus an annual flood in a river system every year, something still doesn't add up
I use to paddle from the coastguard to southwall for 8 years,when I was living there late 90's early 2000's, quite often in the dark heading over or heading home in the dark many times around the full end of the break walls, full moon, high tide, low tide, flood, fresh, clear water, baitfish, no baitfish, mullet run, whale run
Would I be doing that now? Bloody doubt it
Yes, a good reason for a shark to be there, but why nothing for years and years, and then suddenly they are everywhere
Reasons far beyond a bit of a fresh from the river is causing this

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Nick Brennan Friday, 14 Aug 2015 at 7:10am

I think your looking for a hard and fast rule where there most likely isn't one- like another poster said previously. Just relatively higher risk and relatively lower risk. For sure its not all that was probably happening, just adding to speculation about that day.

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uncle_leroy Friday, 14 Aug 2015 at 8:18am

True, I just think that there is more to it than just the so called risk factors we all once associated with shark attacks. Full moons and dirty river water has been going on for years and years and years with people surfing the same locations with no GWS in any numbers
The sudden boom in GWS is occurring due to some ecosystem glitch far beyond a bit of a fresh flowing out of the river
Some locals had not seen a GWS or sighted one in the last 20 years, then suddenly they have had 2 close calls and a dozen 'get out of the water' moments in the last 12 months doing exactly the same thing they have done for 20 years prior, seems to be a pretty good indication that there has been a localised population surge in GWS
What is causing that is the million dollar question but I can guarantee that it is not water flowing out of the river, otherwise the whole east coast of NSW would be on shark alert
cheers

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uncle_leroy Friday, 14 Aug 2015 at 8:20am

Nick Brennan wrote: just adding to speculation about that day.

sorry, I was referencing the whole picture, not just the individual day factors
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lostdoggy Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 8:55pm

Yep, I agree with all of that and that it would be considered a sharky time. Just noting my observation of water clarity close to the beach.
The ocean did feel very alive that morning.

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Nick Brennan Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 9:03pm

All the action could have been condensed at the bottom of that wedge. I have had times when I couldn't find a turtle on the island I worked at (v unusual) only to go to the other side and for an unknown reason they are all there. Not the same but my point is it depends where your observing from.

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Nick Brennan Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 9:14pm

On a mid and incoming tide too! "No run no fun"- peak current is mid tide. Shark bloody heaven.

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Nick Brennan Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 9:27pm

Anyway thats my opinion

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lostdoggy Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 9:38pm

Cpl weeks later, 14th July really had a sharky feel to it. I just felt something bad would happen that day. There was so much going on in the ocean; whales, birds feasting like crazy (everywhere), a lot of dolphins. Surf was pumping with plethora of guys out at the point and people surfing every nook between there and Angels. All the reefs were going off.
Nothing though.
Still that element of randomness.

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Nick Brennan Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 9:45pm

Agreed lost doggy still random just a relatively higher or lower risk- that day- 14th July-would be close to new moon too

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Nick Brennan Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 10:04pm

Lost doggy another thing I have often felt is the feeling of sharky... a feeling like all the hair pricking up on your neck. This is one of my more far flung theories that I have discussed with friends, but being on the planet as apes or ape like creatures for however many million years and with sharks like the white being in a similar form to now 63 million years ago surely we have interacted with them countless times and natural selection has played its part. It wouldn't surprise me at all if we do have primal instincts that kick in when the water is shitty, low light, moons, signs of particular wildlife etc and this is what we are feeling. A sense of 'get out of there' that often we choose to ignore. That was what came out of Mick Fannings interview with 60 minutes the most for me- him not being the most articulate person he said just the right thing imo- firstly "we are in their domain," and "watch for signs and trust your gut. You don't have to be the hero." I felt like they were the perfect words

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grovey Saturday, 15 Aug 2015 at 9:09am

Nick Brennan wrote: Lost doggy another thing I have often felt is the feeling of sharky... a feeling like all the hair pricking up on your neck. This is one of my more far flung theories that I have discussed with friends, but being on the planet as apes or ape like creatures for however many million years and with sharks like the white being in a similar form to now 63 million years ago surely we have interacted with them countless times and natural selection has played its part. It wouldn't surprise me at all if we do have primal instincts that kick in when the water is shitty, low light, moons, signs of particular wildlife etc and this is what we are feeling. A sense of 'get out of there' that often we choose to ignore. That was what came out of Mick Fannings interview with 60 minutes the most for me- him not being the most articulate person he said just the right thing imo- firstly "we are in their domain," and "watch for signs and trust your gut. You don't have to be the hero." I felt like they were the perfect words

posted by accident, being a goon, not being computer literate, sorry!
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grovey Saturday, 15 Aug 2015 at 9:05am

Thats spot on NB!
A 6th sense does still excist in us!
I was travelling in the N NSW area in the early 2000s, n surfed the byron/ballina area for 6 months, everyday, twice a day.
I never felt uneasy, till one morning at Tallows.
Solo session, sun just coming up n some nice head high wedges in the corner.
Out of nowhere it was as if a group of people had turned up around me. the feeling of being near something really big was overwhelming.
Got out quick smart, n left it at that.
i heard a few days later a large shape had spooked a few people out of the suffolk stretch.

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freeride76 Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 7:18pm

Tadashi was bitten on the incoming, Matt on the outgoing.
Water quality was pretty good both days....not immaculate, but very far from dirty.
In Tadashis case the summer EAC was running hard so there was blue water in close. I fished for pelagics that morning.

There was discoloured water running out of the river for Matts attack but it was clean inshore along the beach. There's usually discoloured water coming out of the Richmond on the outgoing tide. It's a big river.

Anyway, it seems whites very much prefer clear water. But deffo agree on the moon phase being a factor.

Anyway speaking of moon phases I'm off to throw plastics for a jewie.

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uncle_leroy Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 11:17pm

freeride76 wrote: Anyway speaking of moon phases I'm off to throw plastics for a jewie.

Plastics are cheating FR, haha
Give me the slow roll, bump......bump........CRUNCH of a hardbody any day, yeww
August was my most productive month with quite often the biggest fish coming first week September, coinciding with the last winter swell before the NE'rs truly kicked in
Go to placcy back then was a white atomic 6" with 1oz head, out fished the storm shads 2:1
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Dfactor Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 7:17pm

I dont buy into the increase in population either. North wall has been very uncrowded since Feb much less than recent years. what about the dredging of the rivers? Did this maybe flush out a scent which attracted sharks?

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wingnut2443 Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 7:32pm

FR said: "Thing is though, these whites have been hanging in here, in close while the whales are mostly steam-training it up to Hervey."

Isn't that the point someone made way ^^ there, somewhere ... GWS would "normally" be in to feed on the salmon, and a few of the straggling whales? Running on instinct they are "hanging around" waiting ... I think Steve, you said the Salmon are thin this year and last? Prior to that ... ?? Whales more in number, bigger pods for the 'weak and frail' to hide amongst, so both food sources for the whites unusually low? So, "maybe" the whites are getting hungry, looking at what is around and having a bite to see if it's any good ... soft flesh and bones of surfer no resistance to the power of the jaws of a white, even if just a "feel" or "nibble"

Point made, again ^^^ there by someone - why are whites protected ahead of other shark specie? Is human influence changing the mix?

Fuck knows, but, lots of talk about why? ... Not a lot of solution, well except uncle's ... and well, that one makes sense, hey? Any other "solutions" if not, fuck off the talk fest and lets all get behind a petition to implement uncle's idea. It seems win win win for all involved.

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velocityjohnno Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 8:06pm

Thank you for the article Nick, very thought provoking. Also thanks to FR for information on the ground, and fishing info as well.

Are there any scientific studies of what happens to an apex predator (crocs in NT for example) when hunting/control of them is removed? Would such studies be applicable to GWS numbers, and would then a prediction be able to made of the % increase in population size since protection?

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seal Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 8:11pm

A good friend of mine was at Tadashi's attack and the water was good visibility. The shark swam under one to get him. Matt Lees attack was good visibility also. The bloke knocked off his board at the Point, good to very good visibility and I was at the Grom comp at the time, so please don't tell me the water quality was the the reason.
As I've said I spent a lot of time in the 70s -90s surfing the area (most days) and sure, we had the the odd shark make an appearance, but apart from a bloke getting snapped at in about 76, we never had second thoughts except in the Mullet runs with dirty water. Marty Ford got attacked at Tallows on a day I remember surfing Lennox Point that was a murky, overcast mullet running day and we even remarked it was a sharky day but these recent ones have been different. Mates I know that used to dive off Lennox, Byron , Black Head, Evans etc rarely saw a White but shitloads of Bronzies and tigers but now are shitting about going over the side of boat as they say they see Whites half the time they dive now. That can be anytime of year also. So the increase of whales, the depletion of fish stocks and the breeding up of the Whites is what has to be one of the main reasons not population increases of humans IMHO.
Vic Hislop, who many might not regard too well, did say when the protection of White sharks has had a few years it'll come back and bite us on the arse and I think he's pretty well spot on.

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Blob Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 9:52pm

SAsharkbait makes the point that whites are both protected and predate other sharks...sharks that are not protected. Is this accurate? Man made imbalance?

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Sheepdog Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 8:39pm

A photo from just after the light house attack.... Note the discoloured water in the background, flushing out from the richmond river.... Nutrient rich... A clash of 2 waters.... Any serious ocean man knows this is a shark attractant.... But hey..... Sometimes, even with facts, data, and now photos', some people just wont believe.....

And even the morning after the Shelly attack, remembering that there was no rain on the attack day, the water still isn't "clear" after the previous weeks rain.... Sorry, Seal.... But a picture paints a thousand mates words.... Cheers, man..

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Blob Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 9:50pm

The water was perfectly clear when I had my north wall moment

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freeride76 Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 9:00pm

Doggie your photographic evidence is pretty unconvincing.
Grainy as camera phone shot which shows , yes discoloured water coming out of the river but the water in close is ....well, you can't really see it from that photo.
I'll take my and other's eyewitness versions over your grainy photo thanks.

Second shot? How do we know what day that photo is taken? Beach closed signs have been up there for days and days this year.

No court in the world would take that as evidence.

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Nigel Nosedive Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 9:07pm

Also sceptical about the attack versus population growth correlation. A ratio is a two way construct. If as suggested the rate of attacks bears a meaningful relationship with our population then this infers that the population of dangerous sharks has been relatively stable over time. This seems at odds with intervening government decisions to introduce beach meshing (to reduce shark numbers) and more recently to list whites and other sharks species as protected species.

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seal Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 9:16pm

Nice photos man. Which actually show three parts of [email protected]#K all. Photo 1 .River water going out to sea as always and very often dirty but 100 meters away can be clear depending on the currents,tides at the time. Photo 2 The distance from the surf and the lighting shows us that there is actually water and a SLSC vehicle with a beach closed sign. Slightly more in focus than the first shot but how anybody can see what the water clarity is like in either has got me stuffed. Oh I'm sorry if friends and myself that were actually there in the area at the times of some of the attacks might be mistaken by what we deem as good visibility ( at what point did I say CLEAR ?) and the fact that you've got some rather nice photos from the DAY AFTER an attack ,yes I find it a little hard to believe unless you were actually there yourself to take said photos. Does water clarity change day to day, tide to tide, sun out sun behind clouds? But I suppose even eye witness accounts can't be believed if you've got photos. Cheers, man.

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Nick Brennan Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 at 9:37pm

What were the weeks before that like. Fisherman was anything spawning upriver or in your opinion about to spawn?

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freeride76 Friday, 14 Aug 2015 at 5:30am

For February or July?

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Nick Brennan Friday, 14 Aug 2015 at 7:10am

February thanks Freehold

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Distracted Friday, 14 Aug 2015 at 6:38am

NB, didn't you say that >3.5m GWS don't eat fish, just mammals? I agree that the run out tide after rain is a fishy time, but what would the GWS be looking for then ? Dolphins? As someone said there were whales out the back, why weren't the big sharks out following them?

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Nick Brennan Friday, 14 Aug 2015 at 7:04am

Main food source is marine mammals, not doesn't eat fish. They must require it to meet their energy demands. I'm not talking about the runout tide either I'm talking about a salt water wedge in the case of February. See my post above. No reason why a big white wouldn't stop to check out all the activity for sure...

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ACB__ Friday, 14 Aug 2015 at 9:44am

The NSW government is set to announce new measures to reduce the number of shark attacks on the state’s beaches.

The $250,000 campaign comes as a response to community concerns in northern NSW that the shark population has increased in the area, following a spate of attacks in recent months.

Researchers will begin tagging and monitoring problem sharks on Monday as part of the public awareness campaign.

-AAP

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Sheepdog Friday, 14 Aug 2015 at 10:54am

Bloody hell, FR..... Here is the same photo in the abcs report...
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-09/man-killed-in-shark-attack-in-nort...

Does it stand up "in court" now? lol
Probably stands up better than the heresay from seal... Cos I know a chick that was dating this guy whose son was at the beach on the day of the attack, and she reckons the water was off colour cos there was the best part of 80mm of rain in the previous week.... Cheers, Seal.... ;)
ps - seal - I also supplied the BOM observations of rainfall for the previous days, if you'd care to check them..... So there's no need to get catty like you did above, bro.... And you know, I have been a waterman for 40 years of my life... I don't really have to be there "on the day", do I?... I have seen the footage and photos and utube etc.. It's a bit like showing doctor an xray... Don't have to be present for the xray.....
pps - chance of shark attack is very small.... It's just my opinion that after rain, on a full moon or new moon, when more water is on the banks or reefs, the chance rises.... I dunno what the actual stats are.... So I'll just pick some numbers - lets say the chance of shark attack on a crystal clear dead low tide 1/4 moon morning is 3 million to one, then on a full moon off colour mid / high tide day is 2 million to one.... That's all I'm saying.... You are more than likely not gonna get munched... But the odds , as low as they may be, do tend be more risky on the days that I have mentioned....

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Nick Brennan Friday, 14 Aug 2015 at 12:34pm

Your 10 point theory definitely has merit SD and agree its just raising or lowering the risk from an inprobably small number to a slightly higher improbably small number. How do you post a picture on this I have the most amazing image of local hydrology atm in keeping with warm water being a decisive factor. Danny B was actually my mentor for a thesis I wrote at uni- which had nothing to do with sharks lol

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thermalben Friday, 14 Aug 2015 at 12:27pm

We highly recommend 'imgur' for image hosting (http://imgur.com/). You don't even need to register with them (although if you do, it'll help you find previously uploaded files).

Simply upload a photo via the 'Computer' link on the RH column, follow the instructions and then copy the URL provided under 'Direct Link (email & IM)'.

Then in a forum thread, wrap the image URL with image tags, ie [img] and [/img].

For example, [img]http://_______[/img]

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Nick Brennan Friday, 14 Aug 2015 at 12:42pm

Thanks Ben, here is a thermal image of the coast

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udo Friday, 14 Aug 2015 at 11:17am

Are they large schools of baitfish near surfers that I can see on the Byron cam.

How many years has Emiliano been the balloon pilot at Byron ,interested to hear from him on the shark numbers.....he flys daily I think ?

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fitzroy-21 Friday, 14 Aug 2015 at 1:03pm

Has anyone thought, or has it already been mentioned, that perhaps all these bumps/knockoffs/attacks are perhaps “naughty teenagers” in the phase between juveniles and adults, where there diet is phasing from fish to mammal and we are part of that inquisitive nature that a few are testing?
As has been pointed out previous, they have always been there, we are generally oblivious to them aside from the air or elevated platform and now that the numbers are increasing and they are growing up, we are encountering them in greater numbers.

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longboarder420 Friday, 14 Aug 2015 at 1:23pm

I heard on the radioe today the newest thing is to have a pipe running along the bottom about 100m of the back of a beaches break and have bubbles pumping out to make a wall because sharks wont swim threw

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ACB__ Friday, 14 Aug 2015 at 1:33pm

I've heard it's the same with sea kelp

udo's picture
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udo Friday, 14 Aug 2015 at 3:37pm

Now Nth NSW is called "The Fatal Coast"

The Fatal Coast: Vimeo

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seal Friday, 14 Aug 2015 at 4:48pm

Sorry Sheepdog I didn't realise you were a waterman so I've booked myself in for an eye examination. Ha Ha.
The fact still remains the same, the recent attacks have all happened on relatively good visibility days, with either no cloud cover or broken cloud. Yes we've had rain but also the North South current was running for Tadashi's attack keeping the dirty water from hitting the beaches.
I know what you are saying but the days in question were not what anybody would have said are classic sharky type days and that's what has got people concerned and confused. That attacks could be happening when the water clarity is quite good. I still can't see how posting a photo and not being actually able to see much from it gives you the right to make me out to be a fool because I disagree and actually was present. If photos are better than eye witness accounts then we really never need to look at stuff again for ourselves just get it up on the internet.
I have been a user of the ocean for 50 odd years and lived between Ballina and Lennox for 30 of them so don't you think I'd have a fair understanding of the local conditions, currents etc and maybe my long term local friends that were present for the other attacks would too. As I said I was back down at Lennox the day the fellow got knocked of his board at the Point, looked at the surf there and spent the rest of the day at the Grom comp. At no time did the water, or day, look a classic sharky day.
And yes we have a small chance of being attacked by a shark at normal times but things aren't normal here the past while.
No -body has the answers to why this is happening here, and maybe some studies might shed some light on the subject but I'm sure that if someone else gets attacked in the area all the studies in the world won't stop the local population from Evans to Byron calling for more drastic measures. Personally I'd like to find some way to co-exist with the Whites that would not come to drastic measures but it needs to be sooner not later plus reliable in all weather and conditions. These are similar thoughts that most in the area are having and discussing about the matter. Cheers.

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freeride76 Friday, 14 Aug 2015 at 6:44pm

Second all of that Seal.

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freeride76 Friday, 14 Aug 2015 at 7:21pm

This extended interview with chief DPI shark scientist Vic Peddemors is mandatory listening.

https://soundcloud.com/abcnsw/senior-shark-scientist-with-dpi-vic-peddem...

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simba Friday, 14 Aug 2015 at 9:45pm

well worth a listen.

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Rabbits68 Friday, 14 Aug 2015 at 10:46pm

Yeah no such thing as a "sharky day" anymore. Maybe there never was. Several of the fatal attacks in WA happened on bluebird days when the water was so crystal clear it was a sight to behold.

Great contribution Nick. Thanks for sharing......

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sharkman Saturday, 15 Aug 2015 at 8:49am

all you blokes wanting to cull all the sharks , grow a pair and just go surfing , or those like Derek Hynd can just go surfing without any other surfers.

Lets make the Byron Bay Ballina area the safest place from sharks on the planet,then we will have meetings about why there are so many are people surfing , and what surf rage is.

Its simple theres more and more people using the ocean , especially in winter , and the sharks are adapting to their new food source .

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mk1 Saturday, 15 Aug 2015 at 5:06pm

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong"

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udo Saturday, 15 Aug 2015 at 8:52am

Pic in the Ballina advocate of the jaws from that tiger shark that was caught off the north coast.

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Dfactor Saturday, 15 Aug 2015 at 10:55am

Noticed a few whales spurting this morning off ballina. Thought they would have passed by now on their way north? This usual?

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freeride76 Saturday, 15 Aug 2015 at 2:40pm

Still some stragglers heading north, seen a few heading south now as well.

I'll be very interested to see what happens with respect to white shark activity once the mums and bubs start hanging right in close and lolly-gagging like they do.

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simba Saturday, 15 Aug 2015 at 1:06pm

yes its pretty normal,return time is usually when the ne kick in around oct and the east coast current picks up,its all down hill then.

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lolo Saturday, 15 Aug 2015 at 1:33pm

Well we just pulled the pin on our near-annual family trip to Byron in the September holidays. Not sure I want my boys spending 4-6 hrs in the water everyday up there at this point in time. Be interesting to see how the tourist numbers go in Ballina/Byron this holiday. Just hope that everyone makes it through the next couple of months OK, regardless of moon phase, tides and water quality.

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Sheepdog Saturday, 15 Aug 2015 at 1:34pm

Ummm, Seal.... Go back to your patronizing post on 13/8/15 9.16pm... Better still;
"Nice photos man. Which actually show three parts of [email protected]#K all." That post , seal.... At no stage have I made you out to be a "fool", man, but this condescending stuff on your behalf should be toned down... At least I am contributing something... be a bit more respectful to those putting in the time to supply links and BOM stats.... And I said there was a combination of water quality, tides, moons.... Not just water quality.... So don't be misleading...

Now onto the next point I have with you....
13/8/15, 8.11 pm - "A good friend of mine was at Tadashi's attack and the water was good visibility"......
Ok, a a good friend was there.....

But wait.... 13/8/15 9.16 pm - "Oh I'm sorry if friends and myself that were actually there in the area at the times of some of the attacks"...

But there's more.... 14/8/15, 4.48 pm;
" I still can't see how posting a photo and not being actually able to see much from it gives you the right to make me out to be a fool because I disagree and actually was present."

Ok..... So in less than 24 hours, we've gone from,,,, one of your friends being present ,,,,, to you being present on the day of the photos.....

So tell, me man...... Was it your friend that was present on the day of the photo's like you stated on thursday (tadahashis attack), or was it you that was present on the day of the photos, as you stated on friday?

Nick.... Best I bail now..... It was this sort of "stuff" back in the thread in sept 2014.... As you said, it would be very easy for a "wired up shark" to swim the mere few hundred metres from the river where waters are mixing, to the beach.... And people want to hone in on just one point (water quality), instead of looking at the whole picture I have painted of rain, tides. moon, extra whales etc........ Good luck with it, Nick....

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Nick Brennan Saturday, 15 Aug 2015 at 3:31pm

Here is something very interesting.... My friend, the same one operating in the tweed and Nerang river said that in February they had the best Sea Bream fishing in over 10 years. He thinks that they were all flushed out of the rivers further south when they were spawning and re entered the Tweed. Can anyone testify to this?

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Nick Brennan Saturday, 15 Aug 2015 at 5:41pm

fish on top of fish there was so many

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uncle_leroy Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 8:02am

sea bream?????
One school of bream has not contributed to the population boom of GWS in the region

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Nick Brennan Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 8:17am

I think you are thinking of yellowfin bream... check out sea bream

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 8:50am

Sea bream is kind of a meaningless, generic term Nick. It's used in fish markets for a variety of species. But most bream caught in this area is yellowfin bream.
https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/fisheries/species-identification/inshore-estu...

Bream school up and spawn in winter here. I certainly noticed no evidence of any kind of increased bream activity of any kind while fishing during Jan/Feb. When bream are in abundance I usually get them as bycatch fishing small plastics for jew. I caught not one bream of any description during Jan/Feb.
Could you ask your mate on tweed what actual species he is referring to as seabream? Some small emperors are sometimes called seabream, as are other species. We'd need more information.

Just on the saltwater wedge theory. Summer rainfall in Ballina/Byron was just above average. Jan figure was a bit above the mean, mostly due to monsoonal coastal showers in the deep mean tradewind flows. You can easily see by Lismore rainfall figures that that rain didn't extend very far inland into the Richmond river catchment. Thus, the river was running clean on incoming tides through Jan and most of Feb with a bit of discoloured water on the outgoing tides. I very much doubt the salinity gradient would have been steep enough to form the saltwater wedge you are speculating on.
That wedge would definitely have been there during the May period after the early May flood event. But during that period we saw no attacks/encounters.

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freeride76 Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 8:51am

`

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uncle_leroy Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 8:53am

What are these sea bream you talk about???????????????? care to provide a link?
There is no such thing as a sea bream in NSW..........
You have Yellowfin bream, Tarwhine and Black Bream on the south coast, no 'sea bream' as your claiming
The only other species referred to as sea bream is a deep water species, Yellowback sea bream which I've caught a few before but these are out in 120-200m of water, sort of like a snapper hybrid bream cross, in 35 years I've never seen or heard of one of the yellowback's ever being caught in an estuary system

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Nick Brennan Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 1:18pm

il come back to this uncle. I am waiting a response back. Wouls be a stitch up if he meant tarwhine but I doubt it

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seal Saturday, 15 Aug 2015 at 3:52pm

Sheepdog, I may have misinterpreted you first comments with the photos saying things like "even with fact figures and now photos some people won't believe" and a picture paints a thousand words, cheers man." as condescending towards me but when you started the "know a chick who dates a guy who's son was at the beach" and here say from seal etc that was the part making me out as a fool.
Now for the facts at hand.
Friend was witness to Tadashi's attack at Shelly Beach
I was at Lennox the day the bloke was knocked off his board at Point. Witness first hand to conditions.
Same day I was talking to the Inspector of Police for Northern Rivers( has a large part to do with Le-ba and Skullcandy Grom Open,and who is investigating all the attacks) He told me about Matts attack( which was 2 days before the conversation) and details of water quality ect. If he's not a credible witness who is?
Maybe due to my lack of edumacation, at times my writing skills might not make 100% of sense but it still doesn't detract from the fact the water quality was not dirty or discoloured with these attacks in mind. Also that having the knowledge and witness accounts that I have of the events surely it is more believable than some photos from the internet.
Hopefully this has cleared up my position to you and we can move on. Cheers

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Rabbits68 Saturday, 15 Aug 2015 at 8:25pm

"Nick.... Best I bail now..... It was this sort of "stuff" back in the thread in sept 2014.... As you said, it would be very easy for a "wired up shark" to swim the mere few hundred metres from the river where waters are mixing, to the beach.... And people want to hone in on just one point (water quality), instead of looking at the whole picture I have painted of rain, tides. moon, extra whales etc........ Good luck with it, Nick...." Sheepdog

Sheepdog, bit of an overreaction mate. People, including myself, where only mentioning "water quality" in response to the pics you posted, not "honing" in on it as a be all & end all reason for fatal shark attack. Also it's a bit condescending that you refer to some of us as writing "this stuff" as you put it. Sorry if we don't meet your standards. This topic is about "theory". If you think you have all the answers then your just kidding yourself, even given your vast ocean experience.

Mate, the Sheepdogs I've met in the past have had pretty thick coats. Pretty sure yours is too, but bailing isn't really the solution. Your call tho :-)

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goofyfoot Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 7:23am

Sheepdogs never wrong

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Sheepdog Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 1:21pm

Mate, I'm not bailing from sn.... Just this thread.... Note goofy and norchocks inane petty posts.... It's bile inducing..... I'll stick to what i believe.... They can stick to what they believe re' moon/tides /recent rainfall.... Ohhh.. Hang on what do they believe in lol....I am undecided to whether their should be a cull..... I am just putting links and facts across..
Through reading seals, posts, he is pretty well decided on a cull..... Good luck with that I say...
As for goofy and norchocks bullshit, well there are two types of people here... people like me, who publicly congratulate people here for fantastic ideas (page 3 - uncle leroy - 13/8 - 12.15 pm)....
The other type of person here are the goofyfoots and norchocks, who in 5 pages of really interesting stuff, have not said ONE FUCKING THING about the situatIon, but are more content sniping someone contributing.....

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goofyfoot Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 1:36pm

For a man who thinks he's the king of the discussion board, and who is so anal about listing times, dates, numbers, and all the other bullshit, im a bit upset you missed my complement to uncle Leroy about his idea to Sheepdog. Especially as it was one comment above yours! So actually you were wrong about not having said ONE FUCKING THING!!!! WHY THE CAPITALS? ARE YOU YELLING AT YOUR COMPUTER?!?!

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Sheepdog Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 1:45pm

Being deceitful yet again, goofyfoot.... Nothing new there... i posted at 12.15pm..... You posted at 12.21pm... So this "above" bullshit is just that.... Bullshit.... I post as an individual post... you posted as a "reply", the only reason it is above mine..... Now I'd like you to point out wherever or whenever you have been wrong on SN.... cos' I take it you are always right too, my man.....

goofyfoot's picture
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goofyfoot Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 2:34pm

Hahahah there you go again with your specific times!
I said my comment is above yours, and you just admitted it! I didn't mention anything about my comment being earlier than yours.
who gives a fuck who wrote something 6 minutes before someone else... Fuck me you're like the swellnet lawyer! Would that stand up in court?!

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Sheepdog Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 6:49pm

More, semantics , ya clown? ...." I didn't mention anything about my comment being earlier than yours". .... Ohhhh for real??? pmsl.... More like you are always right, hey bro..... You fucked up.... it's ok... i told Floyd he might be right and me wrong on Shorten.... I told blowin I shouldn't have mentioned the girl in the Iraq analogy... I come clean when i make a mistake... Be good if you could...
Now should there be a cull or not, goofball?.. What's your opinion on the moon phases, which Nick and I are in agreement on? Does water quality make a difference? Or do you want to continue this crap?
Do you think nearly 100mm of rain in 6 days being flushed out of the richmond river had any influence? I'm not making these numbers up, goofball... Check BOM....

I am ethically against a cull.... This is why I like Leroys idea.... But if people keep getting munched, something is gonna give.... However, more will come..... With the whales........ It's called "the ocean"......

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goofyfoot Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 8:28pm

I fucked up?
What you on about dog? You on the piss mate?

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Rabbits68 Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 3:12pm

Yeah ,I thought you meant just this thread. All good Sherpdog, just felt I needed to clairify. I find the whole shark discussion fascinating & it's great to hear from all & sundry, as long it's kept clean. I personally think tagging & monitoring would be of great benefit long term, but I completely understand the serious issue of GWS "hanging around" in one place for extended periods in the short term, especially when people are being killed. The thing with culling one or all of these GWS in question is that of course we don't know what the consequence of that will be. Less attacks?? Will they just be replaced?? What then?? That said, if we do nothing, that will also have its own set of unknown consequences. It's still a mysterious place the ocean & that includes all of it inhabitants. May the learning continue :-)

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rule303 Saturday, 15 Aug 2015 at 8:33pm

Original poster your post is based on nothing please provide backing evidence and than i will bow down before you for the social media likes you require . Or have a look at this from the uni
http://www.coffscoastadvocate.com.au/news/shark-cull-dismissed-by-expert...

this makes more sense than all the crap posted El nino super elnino?

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lostdoggy Saturday, 15 Aug 2015 at 8:49pm

Is this a typo?
8m GWS not uncommon in NNSW says shark expert?

"Adult great whites can grow up to 8m and sharks of that size are not uncommon in this area," he said.

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sharkman Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 10:04am

rule303 wrote: Original poster your post is based on nothing please provide backing evidence and than i will bow down before you for the social media likes you require . Or have a look at this from the uni
http://www.coffscoastadvocate.com.au/news/shark-cull-dismissed-by-expert...

this makes more sense than all the crap posted El nino super elnino?

303 you are making a lot of sense and it seems like all the conjecture /theories have been answered in the CoffsCoast quote.

If you add there has been probably more than a 1000 % increase in ocean users in the area in the last 50 years coupled with warm water and bait fish inshore , and as surfers have only been attacked not eaten , the GWS debate is explainable , so what actions next?

Culling which has been proven to be ineffective , stop surfing , ot take a risk and go surfing,seem pretty simple to me.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 10:51am

Seriously, this Bucher cat who they keep wheeling out as the local shark expert doesn't know his arse from his elbow.
His credibility is nil amongst local ocean users.

He spent months denying there was any kind of aggregation of white sharks happening in this area despite evidence to the contrary.

Now that reality has made that position untenable he is attributing this aggregation of whites to upwelling and nutrient concentrations. Upwelling occurs in spring when Ekman transport from the nor-easters brings cold, nutrient rich waters up from the shelf.
At the moment we have quite warm, clear water in close and no upwelling events.
Bucher needs to get out of his office in Lismore and actually see what is going on.
At the moment, his analysis is laughably wide of the mark.

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sharkman Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 1:28pm

widely off the mark , a bit like those cullers from the N coast , as they really know whats going on and have a plan to cull the sharks , based on their incredible local knowledge and decades of scientific research?

rule303's picture
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rule303 Saturday, 15 Aug 2015 at 8:51pm

WHO IS Nick Brennan
"But in short: my advice is to be extremely cautious on your choice to surf in Northern NSW right now.
We are approaching new moon on the 15th and I would advise to avoid surfing around the full moon on the 30th altogether."

WOW the power of the internet everyone is an expert

"My explanation for what has been happening around Ballina is based around the “hungry shark” theory."

I googled it and it doesnt exist

Nick i read your post and was going to respond further but gave up as its not worth it why debunk easily debunk able views

rule303's picture
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rule303 Saturday, 15 Aug 2015 at 9:04pm

"In short my belief is that because the whales were late it created less feeding opportunities for the white shark at a key time for them, therefore a small amount of hungry sharks have been getting desperate and peaked up to feed on the full moon. This has resulted in more negative shark encounters in the Ballina region.

The good news is I don’t believe this will last. Stay safe people. //NICK BRENNAN"

Couldnt help my self,
thank you nick the negative shark encounters in the Ballina region will not last......days weeks months tell us nick brennan so we can stay safe

Wow white sharks feed on a full moon thanks nick contact universities around the world so you can share your data

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Nick Brennan Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 12:07pm

Hi Rule I appreciate your skepticism. You probably missed the posts at the start explaining how this short piece came about. I posted this on a small forum in Ballina Shark Discussion page- which at the time had about 400 followers of mainly people pro shark cull.
If you look at my first posts I never pretend this to be conclusive, I put piece up to create discussion away from the "more whites more bites" which offers no explanation on what is happening in Ballina atm. People were forgetting white sharks are an animal dictated by their biology and surrounds and are in a struggle just like any other.
A day after I made my post the lennox meeting happened and the helicopter doing aerial patrols reported there had been 7 white sharks that were not leaving Ballina and surrounds. This lends validation to my theory, so whilst its a guess I feel it is not a bad one. My post went viral and I was approached to have this published on the site.
The response to this post says to me that people don't want a cull forced down their throats, they are curious to know what is happening. It has been mission accomplished for me.
My facination with sharks began on a beautiful sunny Melbourne cup day when I was 16 when my friend and I received a fright from a white shark in the flat water paddling on the way out to "big left" in Flinders, Victoria. It was not an incident like the one with Mick Fanning with contact, we only noticed it when it was directly in front of us and set us into full blown panic where we came straight back to shore then watched it disappear on the surface in the distance. It could have eaten us and didn't. This provoked me to want to learn more.
I graduated a Marine Science and Coastal Management double degree with good grades in 2009 after studying 4 years at SCU lismore and Coffs Harbour. On beginning the degree prospects for careers looked good, however towards the end of the degree changes of government and a change of direction for Aus led to a decrease in opportunities in the marine research. Like most people in my year at the time, needing money a lot of us found work in toursim.
I was lucky the place I got work at was an eco resort with a focus on marine interactions as well as recording our own data and located in one of the most vibrant systems on the planet on the gbr (having travelled extensively I still believe to be) known for interactions with Manta Rays, humpback whales, turtles and ofcourse sharks of which we see about 25 species routinely.
A man in the resorts history named Mark started an exercise book recording data on Manta Rays. Simple data anyone can observe on when and where we were seeing the Mantas. Then a remarkable man named Kym who we nickname "Kympanzee" based on his appearance came and took control of the dive shop. He didn't start the records but he saw the value in it and religiously recorded data and encouraged other dive workers like myself over the next 5 years to do the same.
The island is fortunate in that it has lots of small research teams coming through which have become very good contacts of mine. A group of researchers that we became particularly close to, eventually found out Kym had been recording this information and couldn't believe their good fortunes.
Two doctorettes based around this information and about half a dozen research papers blew the doors off what we know about Mantas on a global scale and more papers are still coming. This was a creature that had never been studied until 2008.
Peaking our curiousities further and now seeing the power of this information we began recording sightings of sharks as well as Mantas in an exercise book and started a more extensive turtle research program in conjunction with Mon Repos.
Whilst our data records are only 4 years old and provide limited resolution there are already trends emerging consistent with existing research etc regarding moon phases seasonality etc which AIMS in townsville has since become very interested in.
I travelled for awhile then worked as a dive instructor at Coffs Harbour in the solitary islands then further north on the GBR out of Hamilton Island before returning back to the island on the southern gbr driving dive boats and diving again. I left the island and became based in Sydney as of April to support loved ones, where I drive boats for a living and work casually at a local dive shop. I would love to get into research full time but there has honestly never been a worse time in Australia than under this government.

My hope is that there are others like Kympanzee out there who have taken a curiosity and have kept records. I know there are more because I have met them- fisherman keep incredible records look at Fitzroy in earlier posts- there is a huge body of knowledge right there.
As to the full moon. No the full moon doesn't cause bites. It is not as simple as that. There are obviously multiple mechanisms for a bite. Read earlier posts for discussion.
The full moon does however play a massive role in the movements of marine life. The strong currents associated with large tides on the peaks of the lunar cycles also play an important role in concentrating food in well defined areas.
As to "I don't believe it will last." It won't because it can't and white shark researchers recently supported this. White sharks below 3m primary food source is fish and above is marine mammals. Fish will eventually not be enough for them. My guess is when the bulk of the whales come down the white sharks will move on too.

My theory again is based on wide reading, available observations and again pure speculation. All the information is out there and available for you to piece together. This page has been great and full of well thought out information and I am overwhelmed by the response. There are a lot of clever people out there. Feel free to offer your thoughts and observations.
Regards

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norchock Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 8:13am

Seems sheepdog is copping abit of flack of late.now I have said before that sheepdog knows everything...and the rest of us should just keep our opinions to ourselves cause we know fuck all.from politcs to swell forecasting to surfboard design to shark theories this bloke knows and will tell ya.oh yeah he's a waterman too? You know shane dorian,laird,darrick ,jamie mitchell etc.....and sheepdog from is it the sunny coast?why not have your own site? Magicsheepline.net

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Sheepdog Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 1:04pm

Yep..... Just what I expected..... Feel better now, norchock?

freddieffer's picture
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freddieffer Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 8:35am

The discussion on here about sharks etc has been fantastic and illuminating.
Just disappointing that a few people can't help themselves and needle others' views with cyncism and sarcasm, or straight out personal attack.
It's a 'discussion forum' boys and girls..... it's a pity to make a contribution that starts ramming your views down anyone else's neck. Keep it light. Play the ball, not the person, and everyone benefits. cheers, Fred.

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tonybarber Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 10:05am

For those on the north coast - what is actually being done right now to manage the boys in grey suits ? There was an interview with a government personnel on the ABC and it seemed very little if nothing is being in the immediate term. I would have thought aerial flights, skis, duckies etc would be out there ?? Are the locals back out there ?

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freeride76 Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 10:47am

TB, Ballina shire council has been funding aerial surveillance , although that is due to cease at some point in the near future. When large whites are spotted near surfers people have been cleared out of the water and beaches closed.
We've now got a team of shark scientists led by Dr Vic Pedemmors up here funded by a $250000 grant from the NSW state govt and they are intending to catch and tag sharks to try and understand more about what they are doing here and if they are the same sharks.
Lot of people not surfing.
Lennox Point yesterday morning, sunny saturday with head high sets. Five guys out.

sharkman's picture
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sharkman Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 11:00am

freeride76 , what happened to the culling push from the Locals??

Have they decided to just surf less , and wait for the results of more study and tagging?

You must have a had a great surf with only 5 guys out ?

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 11:09am

I think people now are waiting to see what, if any, the results of the tagging show.

Did you listen to the Vic Peddemor interview?

Been lots of uncrowded surf this winter.

tonybarber's picture
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tonybarber Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 1:12pm

Yes, listened to the Dr on ABC - seemed like he had no immediate plan. He was dismissive of aerial surveillance. He essentially 'more research' .... Yeah but...I think most were expecting some immediate action.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 11:18am

Freeride ,were any of the 5 surfers wearing a sharkshield or similar ?

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 11:36am

not that I saw.
seen heaps of crew now with black and white stripes on the bottom of their boards.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 11:42am

Black and white stripes on bottom of boards and on legs of steamers but haven't seen any Orca belly patterns on bottom of boards yet ?

tonybarber's picture
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tonybarber Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 11:57am

Is Brockie out there on his mat ?

sharkman's picture
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sharkman Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 1:11pm

Black and white stripes on Boards , is that part of the Locals culling program ?

Blowin's picture
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Blowin Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 3:25pm

Kill the largest pointer and anchor it's body in the vicinity.

Other people have suggested it , I can't see anyone's problem with killing a single shark.

Pretty sure that won't lead to the Armageddon that those hysterics concerned about ecological balance fret over so hard.

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seal Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 5:12pm

I can't say that I am in favour of a cull, Sheepdog, as first line of action. I'm in favour of someone smarter than most of us coming up with a plan that will stop attacks and save the sharks, that have taken up residence in the area, having to be eliminated.
If they happen to attack again in the near future, maybe the only course of action in the short term is to remove the likely culprits. But we can kiss goodbye to the tourism industry in the area for quite sometime if that scenario pans out. Because people won't go there if they are a chance of being attacked or the anti cull people won't go due to boycotting the area.

Somebody stands to make a lot of money if they can come up with a shield/barrier that is 100% effective.
Personally I think something that attaches to your board or body and is easily interchangeable between boards or wetsuits that creates a shield for the user is definitely the way to go. Lot easier said than done of course, but would be a more portable and cheaper option overall than bubble makers, sonar buoys, fake seaweed, aerial patrols etc. and would give the user a lot more piece of mind. Also would be a user pay arrangement thereby saving government agencies a ton of money.
To invent, test and implement these inventions is the hurdle at the moment that nobody so far has been able to get over. Plenty trying and some good ideas, so hopefully it's not too far off.

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Nigel Nosedive Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 5:00pm

I'm not sure $250,000 spent on tagging is going to add additional certainty on the white shark issue in the short term. Tagging is usually undertaken to address specific shortcomings in our understanding of stocks and the level of fishing mortality which can then be fed into a population model. We already have CSIRO tagging data but we don't have much historic data which compromises our ability to construct a model. Also ask the fishos on here how much it costs to charter a decent boat for a day.

Hopefully the mathematicians are having some input before the biologists start spending the money. I suspect they could already provide some estimates of the likely rate of population increase in white sharks based on existing knowledge of their biology and 'fishing mortality' (bycatch and the odd ones killed in shark control programs).

Hard to see any culling getting a nod without some expert consensus that the population is on the mend.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 5:11pm

Does it need to be the carcass of a GWS to be anchored in the area to repel others or would a rotting Bull shark carcass do ? if a bullys o.k. fuck there a dime a dozen in rivers and estuarys on the Nth coast......cull a dozen of them and tow them from Evans to Byron.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 5:27pm

No idea Udo.

I'd imagine a pointer would be needed to let the others know they're not welcome.

Seems to have worked at Neptune Islands and I read of a similar situation I the Fallaron Islands in the States.

Why is this not a consideration ?

I didn't realise that science was so blinkered to reject a possible proposition such as this.

It's not like science , or humanity full stop , has never injured or killed an animal in the pursuit of knowledge.

Let alone knowledge that could prevent further loss of human life .

I don't see anyone crying rivers when entire civilisations of ants and termites are subject to genocide whenever a house is to be built if the defence is that it's the animals existing environment.

Kill a single shark.

Might even work.

mk1's picture
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mk1 Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 9:49pm

Hey you can't go culling ALL the sharks in the whole universe just because you don't want to die in the surf! GWS are beautiful majestic creatures spawned from rainbows and beamed down to bring joy to the sick children of the world. Only a human, completely disconnected from the great spirit mother, could ever be so heartless as to suggest killing something as a solution.

Now, where's my flake and chips, I got the munchies!

Blob's picture
Blob's picture
Blob Wednesday, 19 Aug 2015 at 8:28am

Hahaha!
Sadly the loonies have taken over the asylum

theween's picture
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theween Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 9:49pm

Hear hear Blowin!!

I fully support your idea but unfortunately all the shark huggers out there would rather see humans attacked, permanently disfigured and (possibly) killed than risk any harm being done to a poor defenceless GWS.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 10:25pm

All we've got to do is place a scuba tank in the head shark's jaws then explode it with a well placed shot from a rifle.

How hard could it be ?

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braudulio Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 10:17am

Blowin wrote: All we've got to do is place a scuba tank in the head shark's jaws then explode it with a well placed shot from a rifle.

How hard could it be ?

Depends on how big ya boat is!

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Rabbits68 Sunday, 16 Aug 2015 at 10:24pm

Given the recent findings in relation to the Orca v GWS incedent at Neptune Is, sounds like if we learnt more about the Orcas we might in turn learn more about a potential GWS deterant.

Nick, any thoughts on Udo's/Blowin's suggestions stated above?? After all, science is all about research, trial & error, findings & learnings......

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Nick Brennan Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 10:55am

Hi Rabbit, again I'm no expert on the matter I would prefer to try to figure out why, but will offer my opinion. The idea of a "solution" is a human one, we might be searching for something which doesn't exist. Using a dead white shark to send a warning to other sharks sounds dangerously close to human emotions to me, not shark emotions, very witch doctory but it may work so I won't suggest otherwise. If we are going down the path of "solution" then Imo "repeling" a shark seems a whole lot harder than attracting them- we may be thinking about it the wrong way. From my experience its very easy to attract sharks. We could do it without burleying using low frquency sounds made from household items (I will refrain from saying exactly how in case some poor bugger gets his arm bitten off trying it- I couldn't live with it on my conscience but if you do want to know its not hard to find that information). CSIRO put a report out saying burleying in the neptunes has created a change in their behaviour, we might be better trying to steer them around population centres? Maybe a trail of strategicaly placed fish aggregation devices ("FADS" which if people don't know what they are are just big structures) away or out to sea around population centres? This would have the added benefit of creating industry on the North Coast too. Would probably take quite awhile to influence their patterns but could work. We know they follow sea mounts too using their electical organ to pick up on magnetic fields.. these ridges of sea mounts are often refered to as 'shark paths'.. Could just dump heaps of mining overburden out to sea? Look its probably totally unfeasible and its just off the top of my head but I think we might be required to think differently about the situation

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Rabbits68 Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 11:21am

Hi Nick, thanks for your considered reply. Really interesting concept you suggest in regards to "attracting" rather than "deterring". Cheers.

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trotty77 Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 4:04pm

I watched a docco on orcas and how playing recorded orca sounds can disrupt the gws as they are their only predators. Also how the orcas kill whales which in turn provide the carcasses the gws munch on.

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davetherave Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 2:27am

they are looking for food.
humans look a bit different to their regular food source so they take a bite to see what it is.
bad news for humans but because not all were eaten it shows the sharks thought fuck, this aint a fish/seal/whale etc and left it.
but the really big ones dont care, they just eat whatever.
start
up fish farming in or near all coastal estuaries, sell some and restock rivers and oceans with others.
that way we rebalance food chain in ocean plus also have new industries in local communities. big money, fishing number 1 recreational sport.

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uncle_leroy Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 8:22am

Valerie Taylor - "If circumstances were different, I could have gotten in the water and hand fed the GWS............."
What circumstances, if it didn't have teeth!!!!!!

&feature=youtu.be

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sharkman Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 8:52am

Uncle , shows what having no fear is, amazing how hysterical people on the Nth Coast are , checkout the link below and see a beautiful model swimming with a really big GWS , ah that fear stuff!

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uncle_leroy Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 9:30am

Hysterical......or just concerned about an explosion in GWS numbers, the unprecedented environmental change that is occurring (30+ years of change in a <6 month period), its future impact on the environment, tourism based economy, impacts on friends and family's that have been killed or bitten by GWS
I'd say more concerned and cautious over hysterical.
Are you a resident of the area sharkman, if you live in the area it would be interesting for your view of what has been occurring and how/if any it has affected your ocean use ?
Personally don't find her attractive but each to their own
Fill them up with tuna first, then ready for a swim
All about risk, not fear, 10 sec swim for individual pleasure v's consequence if things were to go pear shape
It's one of those things that I'm personally look forward to seeing a GWS underwater whilst spearfishing (hopefully it comes in from front on!), but if I don't see one for the rest of my life I will still be content with my experiences in the underwater world
Risk away

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tonybarber Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 9:38am

@uncle…what are 'the explosion in GWS numbers, the unprecedented environmental change that is occurring (30+ years of change in a <6 month period)'.
are we talking about the bait balls, mullet runs, bream, tuna ??

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uncle_leroy Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 10:19am

Sorry Tony, was referencing into not 'environmental' change, more the change that for 30 years people have surfed, spearfish and dive in the area with minimal interaction, then in the last 6 months things have gone berko
There has been no change in bream, mullet, baitfish etc or extra/less water running out of the river
But there must be some crazy change that we as humans cannot see for the past 6 months to be occurring.
Maybe the sharks have always been there, just the interaction count that is going up in numbers and dramatically in the past 6 months, what is causing them to taste test people when historically they have been well fed and just swim on by un-noticed?
Maybe the shark numbers have increase rapidly or they have relocated from different areas?
How many GWS were in the area 10 years ago, 5 years ago, 6 months ago, 6 weeks ago......
Lots of unanswered questions as we don't have the research to validate any answers

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udo Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 10:55am

She's a goner.
Only 339 GWS left over there .......shit we have 250 juveniles wallowing at Stockton right now .

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monkeyonboard Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 9:44am

Maybe a sharky day could be a different sort of day depending on the species of shark e.g. a murky, overcast day could be a sharky day for the Bull shark, as they rely more on their other senses, rather than eyesight. whereas a crystal clear day could be more sharky for the Whites, as they have better eyesight than the bulls.

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sharkman Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 9:48am

I say hysterical to all those who claim culling as an answer .

The debate so far for culling is one born out of fear and lack of understanding that we , humans , have changed the environment of the sharks , and they seem to be evolving towards more inshore prowling.

It seems pretty obvious to me that the shark attacks up there on the Nth Coast , seem to be sharks having a curious nibble , not tearing someone apart then eating the remains .

There are so many more ocean users now , especially in winter , so as this the new "norm" , get used to it.

In my area lots of GWS , seen them , get out of the water , sometimes its just a feeling in your gut , but, you still get out , been brought up with them , seem to just cruise around being inquisitive.

Risk to me means pushing your limits of fear.

When you actually see them close up , they are amazing . look like a Submarine ,very majestic .

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Blob Wednesday, 19 Aug 2015 at 8:45am

"Culling" can mean different things.
A guy whose best mate was killed in WA told me the shark responsible was known to be extremely aggressive (attacking buoys etc) and that fishos and surfers had asked for something to be done about it.
No "hysterical" action was taken and his mate was chomped soon after.
Just a story people tell you...

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udo Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 10:51am

Unfortunately a curious nibble results in horrific injuries and sometimes death.

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sharkman Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 11:11am

so whats the answer UDO?

Culling ?

Its incredible how the stats paint a different picture of whats going on in our oceans.

The biggest killer in our oceans is drowning , 300 pa , 10 people die pa from European bee stings , 20 people die a year from falling off horses , 1 per year from crocodiles, 2 pa from shark attacks , sharks are just out there being inquisitive as they are not eating the humans they attack.

a bit of peripheral damage and thatr 4 letter word comes out , CULL!

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Blob Wednesday, 19 Aug 2015 at 8:48am

Do you favour culling European bees?
Don't go all hysterical on me now.

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sharkman Wednesday, 19 Aug 2015 at 1:07pm

Culling of ferals is a very good point Blob.

Cats /dogs/ cane toads / birds and then the cows/sheep etc you might have a point , but as there seems to be a world wide shortage of bees , culling Eurobees , would have to get in line with the rest!

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udo Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 11:33am

Only inquisitive........close to a quarter of the attacks although not recently have been full consumption...no body recovered.

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sharkman Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 11:57am

Udo , got any stats on "full consumption?"

not so sure all the sharks up there on the Nth Coast have completely eaten the body?

are you a culler?

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udo Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 12:14pm

No stats on full consumption ....was referring to Aust wide attacks, can recall 10 where humans got fully eaten ..last I remember was Ben Linden W.A.
Not a full culler....but lets knock the Ballina 5 , or at least one of them and tow it Evans to Byron and back .....for repellant research ?

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sharkman Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 12:20pm

Udo , how would you feel if you killed a great white and let it decompose outside a surf area , and more sharks came?

woud you be comfortable surfing knowing there is a GWS corpse decomposing near a surf break , maybe the Tigers and the Bulls would fire up?

I was just continuing the conversation along with the full consumption issue , by pointing out , so far, the sharks up on the Nth Coast don't seem that interested in human meat?

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udo Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 12:25pm

.

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Lanky Dean Tuesday, 1 Sep 2015 at 3:38pm

Really feel for the local surf community.
Having been born and raised on the mid north coast NSW .
Sharks have always been around, thirty plus years of surfing. The consequences have always been there, although the current spotings,encounters, attacks and fatalities sadly highlight the actual risks we take as recreational surfers.
I feel I must highlight some rules that elder surfers and fishermen passed on
- NEVER SURF ALONE, ESPECIALLY ON ISOLATED BEACHES.
- REFRAIN FROM SURFING WHEN FLOCKS OF BIRDS ARE DIVING INTO WATER IN SPECIFIC AREAS.
- NOTIFY OTHER SURFERS IN THE WATER IF YOU HAVE BEEN INJURED WHILST SURFING AND ARE BLEEDING.
- IF YOU HAVE BEEN INJURED REMOVE YOURSELF FROM WATER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
-DO NOT SURF IF SOMEONE IS LETTING THEIR DOG PLAY IN THE WATER.
- CARRY A FIRST AID KIT IN YOUR VEHICLE, OR BACKPACK/ TAKE A FIRST AID COURSE.
-ALWAYS WEAR A WETSUIT/ PUT A BARRIER BETWEEN YOURSELF AND THE SHARK.
-BE CALCULATED /INFORM PERSONS OF YOUR LOCATION(JUST NOT ON SOCIAL MEDIA)
- DON'T BE A KOOK, IF YOU SEE A LARGE SHARK. NOTIFY PEERS THEN AUTHORITIES.

One of the largest sharks I ever seen was at the little beach directly next to the Nambucca river. We spotted it from the breakwall,whilst fishing on dusk. The shark( which was giant, approximately sixteen feet) was two meters from the shore in a gully looking for dinner. I pointed It out to my grandfather as we were fishing at the time. The thing was giant, sleek and mysterious. Let me reiterate it was two meters from the shore.

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goofyfoot Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 3:26pm

Lanky Dean wrote: Really feel for the local surf community.
Having been born and raised on the mid north coast NSW .
Sharks have always been around, thirty plus years of surfing. The consequences have always been there, although the current spotings,encounters, attacks and fatalities sadly highlight the actual risks we take as recreational surfers.
I feel I must highlight some rules that elder surfers and fishermen passed on
- NEVER SURF ALONE, ESPECIALLY ON ISOLATED BEACHES.
- REFRAIN FROM SURFING WHEN FLOCKS OF BIRDS ARE DIVING INTO WATER IN SPECIFIC AREAS.
- NOTIFY OTHER SURFERS IN THE WATER IF YOU HAVE BEEN INJURED WHILST SURFING AND ARE BLEEDING.
- IF YOU HAVE BEEN INJURED REMOVE YOURSELF FROM WATER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
-DO NOT SURF IF SOMEONE IS LETTING THEIR DOG PLAY IN THE WATER.
- CARRY A FIRST AID KIT IN YOUR VEHICLE, OR BACKPACK/ TAKE A FIRST AID COURSE.
-ALWAYS WEAR A WETSUIT/ PUT A BARRIER BETWEEN YOURSELF AND THE SHARK.
-BE CALCULATED /INFORM PERSONS OF YOUR LOCATION(JUST NOT ON SOCIAL MEDIA)
- DON'T BE A KOOK, IF YOU SEE A LARGE SHARK. NOTIFY PEERS THEN AUTHORITIES.

One of the largest sharks I ever seen was at the little beach directly next to the Nambucca river. We spotted it standing on the breakwall,whilst fishing on dusk. The shark( which was giant, approximately sixteen feet) was two meters from the shore in a gully looking for dinner. I pointed It out to my grandfather as we were fishing at the time. The thing was giant, sleek and mysterious. Let me reiterate it was two meters from the shore.


Sorry to be a stick in the mud LD but number 1 on your list is the best thing about surfing. The sessions I have by myself sitting in the water watching the sun go down are the ones you remember the most.
I agree about doing the first aid course though. That's a great idea.
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ACB__ Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 4:48pm

@Udo.

I agree with how it's ridiculous that people aren't even willing to try the dead GWS carcass theory.

It's clearly documented by a cage diving team that following the attack on the shark by the Orcas in early Feb 2015 shark sightings went from 7 per trip to none for over 2 months. http://www.sharkcagediving.com.au/shark-tours/shark-sightings-2/

I think that's got enough basis to build a theory to then conduct a proper experiment surely. Kill and tie up a GWS to an anchor on the ocean floor and then conduct aerial patrols of the area (which are currently being done anyway) to conclude whether or not it is an effective deterrent.

It may not be proven to be true, but at least its a start.

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udo Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 5:11pm

Don't know how to access the daily /weekly catch log for the Sydney or Gold Coast shark nets or how many Pointers they catch per year , its about time ones that are caught are put in the freezer for this sort of testing ? fuckers are dead anyway

Speaking to a trawler operator out of Ballina recently and I asked what do they do if they catch a GWS in there nets........skipper pointed out to sea and said it goes out there a couple of miles and gets dumped......the authorities don't want to know anything about it. Fitzroy whats the proper procedure for this ?

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fitzroy-21 Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 8:26pm

I don't trawl Udo, have worked on friends trawlers on the odd occasion to help out, and I know of no such a "procedure". I have friends that are trawler-men and they tell me that they have never caught a large shark, let alone a GW, in their nets. Most of them try to release any non-productive (prawns etc) sea life alive. With all the BRD's and TED's (by-catch reduction devices and turtle excluder devices) on EC (qld) commercial boats, it is rare to see any large animals in the cod end.

I am actually very skeptical about using a dead GW to scare others away to be honest. In the old days we used to use live small sharks (whalers) as bait for the giants. Admittedly they are small sharks, but large sharks prey on easy meals. I have seen footage of a large tiger catching and eating a smaller shark in the wild, no hooks or set-up. I'm not discounting it wouldn't work, probably needs to be properly trialed. Happy to be proven wrong.

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goofyfoot Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 8:35pm

udo wrote: Don't know how to access the daily /weekly catch log for the Sydney or Gold Coast shark nets or how many Pointers they catch per year , its about time ones that are caught are put in the freezer for this sort of testing ? fuckers are dead anyway

Speaking to a trawler operator out of Ballina recently and I asked what do they do if they catch a GWS in there nets........skipper pointed out to sea and said it goes out there a couple of miles and gets dumped......the authorities don't want to know anything about it. Fitzroy whats the proper procedure for this ?


Didn't a 3m white that was hooked on a drum line off straddy get eaten by a 6m white? Or bitten in half at least? This was in the news about a year or two ago
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udo Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 8:58pm

I remember seeing the pics of that don't know how legit they were.

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goofyfoot Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 9:00pm

Yeah it must have been a bloody big shark.

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Adrian Bartlett Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 6:20pm

Everyone just needs to start ordering more fish and chips!

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velocityjohnno Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 6:33pm

Here's the story of crocodiles in the NT to present the situation of an apex predator that gets protected:

Protected in 1971, estimated 3000 remain after over-hunting. By 1984, estimation of 30-40,000. By 1994, estimation of 70-75,000.
http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicspecies.pl?taxo...

It is estimated there are over 100,000 in the NT as of this publication:
http://lrm.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/7351/crocodile_populati...

Here the base population was estimated at around 5,000 in 1971 and grew to 30,000 by 1979-80:
http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/consultations/229bce33-342a-4...

Compared to human population growth, this is exponentially faster!

Now, there will be differences in the rate at which a protected apex GWS will repopulate when one compares to crocodiles. But to use anecdotal evidence, it is repopulating. And the data Nick mentioned as being the cornerstone of scientific studies as compiled by Kimpanzee (referenced in a previous post) was a collection of anecdotes as well; each one forms a data point and references a sighting at a point in time and in a place.

Back to crocodiles:
http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/northern-territory/record-year-for-fatal-c...

With the human population growing in NT at 0.4% per year:
http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3101.0
and the crodile population estimated at growing at 1.6% per year*
the populations collide.

And you have the calls for culling, and all the politics. What is clear is the crocodile population grew faster than the human population, and increased interaction has been reported.

*very rough calc: 1994 75,000, 2014 100,000+; 25,000/20=1250 per year, /75,000 = 0.01667. If I take it from 3000 in 1971 to 2014 I see average of 75% per year! 1971 3,000, 2014 100,000+; 97,000/43 =2255 per year, /3000 = 0.75!

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freeride76 Monday, 17 Aug 2015 at 7:10pm

I think the comparison with crocs is very instructive VJ, I posted something like that up before but no-one seemed interested.

At some point as GWS numbers increase there'll be a limit to how many human fatalities the general population will cope with.

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velocityjohnno Tuesday, 18 Aug 2015 at 1:07pm

Yes FR, from all of it I am more concerned that "expanding distribution" might occur as in the 2nd link; and that ecosystems become out of balance compared with what we know, ie, anecdotal evidence from lifelong divers of many more juvie whites where before it was bronzies/nurses (think: Reunion for a parallel), fisherman pulling up juvie whites in NSW lakes. Perhaps they are more fecund than we know?

Maybe the science is correct though and fish stocks are repleting across the ecosystem - at least inshore from factory fishing off the continental shelves, and many whites in close was the norm in ages past. Point being, that this is a disrupted ecosystem in itself for in our actions we "pick winners" and the GWS is most certainly a winner.

Actually, there are terrifying stories from Aboriginal days / early settlement of a plesiosaur like creature on the Fraser coast threatening coastal communities, and able to walk on land! Now that would be an ecosystem worthy of fear! (Now this is the internet, so instantly disbelieve this until you can measure it...)

Oh yeah, my annunal growth rates, I should have used an exponential model, silly me, no statistician.

Good luck up that way, hope you are all safe. I surfed similar times in WA.

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sharkman Tuesday, 18 Aug 2015 at 11:01am

freeride76 , with the surfers numbers way down , and no real sign that GWS 's like feeding on humans , yet , there might not be anymore fatal shark attacks ?

most people don't really care about shark fatalities as they are so rare compared to how many people use the oceans , and deaths from drowning , car accidents , bomb blasts.

We live in a world where its about emotional , sensationalist headlines and the reporting there after of mans way of dealing with the issues...more hysteria , better headlines!

a

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freeride76 Tuesday, 18 Aug 2015 at 11:35am

Sharky, I can assure you every single person in this community cares about shark attacks . Very much.
Where do you live?

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sharkman Tuesday, 18 Aug 2015 at 11:49am

your community is not , " the general population" is my point .

your community has called for culling , which seems a knee jerk emotional response to a couple of attacks , which seem to be just inquisitive sharks doing some R&D , with no-one being eaten but nibbled......

WA for what its worth....

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freeride76 Tuesday, 18 Aug 2015 at 3:14pm

Sharkman you're living in lalaland if you think this isn't a real live issue at front and centre of peoples minds everywhere at the moment.

From surfers who live here to the average work-a-daddy living in Butt fuck nowhereseville.

Funnily enough just about everyone I'm speaking too is heavily in favour of the tagging program with a limited partial cull the final resort if another attack happens or the encounters continue at the present rate.
Middle aged lady in Bunnings at Ballina, someone who looks like they haven't set foot in the ocean for twenty years is the only person I've spoken too in person who came out strongly against anything that would harm a hair on a sharks head.

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sharkman Wednesday, 19 Aug 2015 at 10:45am

freeride76 wrote: Sharkman you're living in lalaland if you think this isn't a real live issue at front and centre of peoples minds everywhere at the moment.

From surfers who live here to the average work-a-daddy living in Butt fuck nowhereseville.

Funnily enough just about everyone I'm speaking too is heavily in favour of the tagging program with a limited partial cull the final resort if another attack happens or the encounters continue at the present rate.
Middle aged lady in Bunnings at Ballina, someone who looks like they haven't set foot in the ocean for twenty years is the only person I've spoken too in person who came out strongly against anything that would harm a hair on a sharks head.

Freeride 76 On the Coast where you live , its in peoples minds , but not the general populous as you claimed , as all the Stats say there's not much to worry about.

To say its an issue at the front and centre of peoples minds everywhere at the moment is a big stretch and misleading.

But yes you seem to have a problem up in your area and I like the whole tagging idea is the best , and educating yourselves on your local issues.

the problem with everything about the cull , is there is no real way to determine which sharks are more aggressive than not and which ones die.

It is the indiscriminate killing , as here in WA showed , fixed nothing , caught all the wrong sharks , not one GWS , the drum lines were based on a knee jerk emotional reaction which drew an emotional political knee jerk solution , which took us nowhere !

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velocityjohnno Tuesday, 18 Aug 2015 at 1:18pm

This is a point too, sharkman. In times of old, if a local community had a problem with sharks, the local fishos would simply go out and quietly fix it.

Today, we are so connected by virtual media and politically, that if an area has a problem with sharks the matter gets lobbied in a distant capital city, the politicians ask for advice, the scientists are tasked to study it and get funding. Then social media backlashes against the local community, drowning their voice in weight of numbers - and people who have no interaction with the ocean can rally and form an online campaign and nullify the local people whose loved ones are at risk. Columnists use online media to influence views, despite living far away. And the result is the problem is not addressed in any meaningful way for the locals who are suffering it.

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sharkman Tuesday, 18 Aug 2015 at 3:02pm

velocityjohnno wrote: This is a point too, sharkman. In times of old, if a local community had a problem with sharks, the local fishos would simply go out and quietly fix it.

Today, we are so connected by virtual media and politically, that if an area has a problem with sharks the matter gets lobbied in a distant capital city, the politicians ask for advice, the scientists are tasked to study it and get funding. Then social media backlashes against the local community, drowning their voice in weight of numbers - and people who have no interaction with the ocean can rally and form an online campaign and nullify the local people whose loved ones are at risk. Columnists use online media to influence views, despite living far away. And the result is the problem is not addressed in any meaningful way for the locals who are suffering it.

Vj , not sure if you know ,but in the old days there were not too many problems with sharks as there was hardly anybody in the water.

I grew up in a fishing village , and spent most of my life in the same area , lots of GWS , no real problems except someone gets attacked every now and then , nothing alarming and if your loved ones are at risk , it is a choice , to surf/snorkel/swim , but the man in the grey suit is always there.

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seal Tuesday, 18 Aug 2015 at 2:12pm

VJ, couldn't have put it better myself.
I'd like to know how much will actually get done for the $250,000 that NSW Government is spending. AS in how many snouts in the trough before something is actually achieved?

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arnie Tuesday, 18 Aug 2015 at 2:43pm

I am interested to know what the surfer numbers are like around Byron at the moment. Are there still large crowds at the pass and tallows?

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lostdoggy Tuesday, 18 Aug 2015 at 2:50pm

The pass, yes. Check out the 0.5-1ft inconsistent sets on the cam now for instance. Tallows has a few, but numbers are down.
6.45am today, 3ft and beautiful Lennox point where you'd expect 20-30 minimum - only 4 guys.
A few more headed out for the mid morning session however.
Hardly anyone at the non point break spots though.

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sharkman Tuesday, 18 Aug 2015 at 3:06pm

great uncrowded surf now there's a win for the 4 surfers!

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lostdoggy Tuesday, 18 Aug 2015 at 3:14pm

I have definitely got my wave count up.
Can't say I haven't been thinking about sharks a fair bit out there though.

Turned my nose at empty North Wall a few times too.

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udo Tuesday, 18 Aug 2015 at 4:10pm

Australias deadliest shark coast by science documentary tv : YouTube - 45 mins long but a must watch.

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Rabbits68 Tuesday, 18 Aug 2015 at 9:10pm

udo wrote: Australias deadliest shark coast by science documentary tv : YouTube - 45 mins long but a must watch.

Interesting doco Udo. The commentary was a bit hyper but the content was bloody interesting. How's that footage of those lads free diving!! Heavy escape!!

What's clear so far IMO is that any "potential deterrents" are going to have be really quite specific to the ocean pursuit, be it surfing or diving etc etc etc. Don't think its going to be a case of one size fits all...........

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sharkman Tuesday, 18 Aug 2015 at 3:13pm

I thought WA was the deadliest shark coast , or , maybe that was last year , and now its the ?

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bondisteve Tuesday, 18 Aug 2015 at 3:16pm
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Nigel Nosedive Tuesday, 18 Aug 2015 at 6:21pm

Thanks velocity
It's interesting how many crocodiles the NT ecosystem can support . Being cold blooded means they don't have to eat as much as an equivalent sized mammalian predator. Probably similar with white sharks (although they do have a mechanism for increasing their body temp).

My read on this is that this low energy approach means they can hang around likely feeding spots waiting for opportunities. It's obvious that the current density of crocs means swimming in rivers up there is really risky.

Whites are essentially a coastal species (hardly ever caught on tuna longlines) so it's not as if all the extras are going to head out into the deep water and leave us alone.

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wet-feet Tuesday, 18 Aug 2015 at 8:54pm

I have another theory for all the shark activity in the Ballina area.

checked angas a couple of times earlier this arvo and watched something white drifting in from the north. some bloke reckoned it was an over turned catamaran drifting down from the tweed.

but ive just been fishing the back beach and on the way back passed a large hunk of dead whale washed up that wasn't there when I went out.
shit it stank.

it came in from the north so I guess its been floating around for a while up there . could be why all the sharks have been hanging around.

funny cos a lot of guys have been coming down this way to get away from all the sightings and beach closures .lol

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lostdoggy Tuesday, 18 Aug 2015 at 9:02pm

You're just trying to get a few empty Angas sessions out of this aren't ya? ;)

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wet-feet Tuesday, 18 Aug 2015 at 9:36pm

usually yep.

but I think I may head up Ballina way for a surf until the local council move this carcass off the back beach.

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freeride76 Wednesday, 19 Aug 2015 at 5:23am

thats a good piece of knowledge, cheers wetfeet.

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udo Wednesday, 19 Aug 2015 at 10:57am

In shallow water by the looks , Freeze it @ 16 secs ...one lucky seal.

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lostdoggy Wednesday, 19 Aug 2015 at 10:58am

Has the Ballina shark reports FB page been taken down?

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udo Wednesday, 19 Aug 2015 at 11:11am

AIR T+G facebook - chopper surveillance, daily pics.
Sheepy ,one pic shows dirty/murky water.

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sharkman Wednesday, 19 Aug 2015 at 1:12pm

amazing to hear the story of a big chunk of whale floating around , one think we know is GWS 's love whale meet , jury's still out on how yummy we taste , but, back to a story.

About 15 years ago a dead whale washed up at Umbies in WA , the authorities buried it on the beach , shark sighting became the norm , and there was an attack at lefties in that year,

I wonder what meat the GWS's like best whale /seal/ dolphin , at least we can say it looks like GWS's don't eat all the human body!

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udo Saturday, 22 Aug 2015 at 6:12pm

And we have another attack at Pt Macquarie !

Ballina Helicopters spotted a 4-5 mtr shark on the southern side of Broken Head this morning,

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mightymouse Saturday, 22 Aug 2015 at 6:58pm

Yep Port Macquarie this afternoon.
http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/shark-a ... 7494544237

Waxing Crescent
47% full
Not sure there is a trend other than sharks wanting to eat whatever is on the menu

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Saturday, 22 Aug 2015 at 7:42pm

yeah, waxing crescent would have been seen as one of the safe times according to moon phase theory

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Sheepdog Sunday, 23 Aug 2015 at 4:44pm

I agree, fr... But I wouldn't just go on "moon theory"... I'll stick to the 10 points, moons being one of the 10 points..... I see he was attacked at 5.20pm..... Right around sunset... I read there was high baitfish activity, and knowing Lighthouse beach, it a pretty deep drop off with reef/rocks.... I'd assume he was wearing a wettie, and also assume he pissed in it, like most of us.....So there's 4 out of the 10 straight off the bat.....

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theween Saturday, 22 Aug 2015 at 8:02pm

All of you shark huggers are now on notice - you have blood on your hands - the next attack is because you are putting shark welfare ahead of human welfare. Hope you sleep well at night.

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manbat Saturday, 22 Aug 2015 at 8:33pm

As a a certified shark hugger I've gotta let you know that I put human welfare way ahead of shark welfare. With that in mind I've considered for your own welfare that you should stay well clear of the ocean, please for your own safety and as I imagine you are concerned for the welfare of ya mates could you pass this advice on to them, particularly if youre around the Newcastle area.

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monkeyonboard Sunday, 23 Aug 2015 at 7:18pm

How come just the newy area?

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manbat Sunday, 23 Aug 2015 at 9:22pm

That's where I live

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Rabbits68 Saturday, 22 Aug 2015 at 11:57pm

Life is all about risk theween. Have you assessed the risks you took to get to the beach today? Or are you in denial of all those risks & simply focusing on the risk of shark attack? Best stay out of the ocean mate until you get your 100% safety guarantee :-)

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theween Sunday, 23 Aug 2015 at 8:28pm

I assume you are taking the piss Rab. Either that or you are one of the seriously deluded who compare driving to the beach with a shark attack. We all know the risks of entering the water but we have the capacity to minimise (or at least reduce) those risks by taking out SOME of the rogue sharks in the Northern NSW area. I will continue to surf in my Victorian waters comfortable in the knowledge that there hasn't been a serious shark attack here in living memory. This is clearly not the case for surfers up north who must shit bricks every time they go out for a wave.

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Rabbits68 Sunday, 23 Aug 2015 at 9:32pm

All good theween. No delusion here in SW WA. Your right though, there's no point comparing road fatalities with shark attack fatalities. If we did no one would drive & everyone would surf, if you valued your life from a risk point of view. Mate I hope you never have to deal with shark attack issues in your local waters. Just remember though, there were places in SW WA that had never had shark attack issues, until they did.......

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mightymouse Saturday, 22 Aug 2015 at 8:06pm

Yep we can try to find trends in moons but really it in nothing more that a correlation based on speculation. Grasping at straws. Still not sure I support a shark cull but now that it is at my local the mind starts to reassess.

I suspect that the east coast is a few years behind west coast in regards to shark numbers on the rise...but I'd hate to speculate!

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simba Saturday, 22 Aug 2015 at 9:26pm

a few days ago in the telegraph for those that havent seen it
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/ballina-south-wall-a-close-up-...

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sharkman Sunday, 23 Aug 2015 at 10:19am

simba wrote: a few days ago in the telegraph for those that havent seen it
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/ballina-south-wall-a-close-up-...

Interesting to hear a local fisherman has conceded that with above average water temps, bait fish everywhere , the whole ocean Eco system around the Nth Coast seems to be in overdrive and alive with unprecedented levels of bait balls.

Pretty simple , its just an anomaly , it will all be gone soon and the crowds will be back with a vengeance , could be a good chance to try out some of those drone Sub-sharks!

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wingnut2443 Sunday, 23 Aug 2015 at 6:16am

Sorry, wrong spot I know (assuming this comment posts), but I can't start a new thread in the website forum and none exist like it either... Issue is I'm getting a weird message when trying to login.

"too many failed attempts from your IP address"

Anyone else had, or getting this?

Someone trying to hack my account? Or, Swellnet, do you guys have a tech issue?

thermalben's picture
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thermalben Sunday, 23 Aug 2015 at 8:09am

Yeah we've got tech issues. Sorry for the hassle. Trying to get it fixed ASAP.

udo's picture
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udo Sunday, 23 Aug 2015 at 2:46pm

My Shark Radar - click latest sightings for Nth NSW .

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silver-surfer Sunday, 23 Aug 2015 at 7:27pm

Cull them.
take out box jelly fish, crocs, prickly pear and cane toads too.

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sharkman Monday, 24 Aug 2015 at 10:26am

SS , yes take them all out , if you fear it , cull it !

Just realized I am scared of people from the SS , cull the SS?

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sharkman Monday, 24 Aug 2015 at 11:37am

here's a couple of those really really dangerous 15'+ GWS's , but over here they can be seen all the time if you look!
https://au.news.yahoo.com/video/watch/29330093/close-encounter-with-mass...

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manbat Monday, 24 Aug 2015 at 1:00pm

Pleasing to hear that the dpi has managed to obtain 6, yes 6 satellite tags to begin their already announced tagging program to protect ocean users on the north coast.

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/three-great-white-sharks-...

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udo Monday, 24 Aug 2015 at 4:53pm

D.P.I. report that Pt Macquarie attack "most likely " from a juvenile GWS approx. 2.7mts long.

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ACB__ Monday, 24 Aug 2015 at 5:00pm

That would give reason to believe it was not one of the famous north-coast 5. As from all reports they we're all 3.5 meter plus?

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theween Monday, 24 Aug 2015 at 5:27pm

Just wondering - is there a legal case for those attacked in NSW to sue the DPI/State govt for negligence? IMHO there would be as the 3 elements of the tort appear to exist in that -
1. the DPI/State govt owes a duty of care to protect those in NSW from foreseeable actions (or inaction) which could cause harm,
2. the DPI/State govt has, by failing to act to protect beach users, breached that duty of care, and
3. shark attack victims (at least since the threat became more obvious ) have suffered injury as a result of that inaction.
Although the defence of contributory negligence would apply, this should not be sufficient for such a lawsuit to fail.

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manbat Monday, 24 Aug 2015 at 5:38pm

There was a group in Newcastle trying to get the local council to install shark warning signs in parts of lake maquarie where people/kids swim and there has been several sightings. Lenny67 might jniw about this? You would think if something happened in a case like this surely there would be grounds

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sharkman Wednesday, 26 Aug 2015 at 2:53pm

theween wrote: Just wondering - is there a legal case for those attacked in NSW to sue the DPI/State govt for negligence? IMHO there would be as the 3 elements of the tort appear to exist in that -
1. the DPI/State govt owes a duty of care to protect those in NSW from foreseeable actions (or inaction) which could cause harm,
2. the DPI/State govt has, by failing to act to protect beach users, breached that duty of care, and
3. shark attack victims (at least since the threat became more obvious ) have suffered injury as a result of that inaction.
Although the defence of contributory negligence would apply, this should not be sufficient for such a lawsuit to fail.

If there was a potential for litigation against the DPI/State Govt , we would already have it.

Be careful what you want as then if a Govt official was performing duty of care, the beaches would be closed everytime a shadow was seen on your beach!

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Sorrento Monday, 24 Aug 2015 at 7:03pm

I am just a teenager from Victoria but was just interested in an answer from Nick or any of other people commenting on this forum to tell me why Victoria is much less shark prevalent ( touch wood ) compared to the NSW coast especially it's seems at the moment around the Ballina area. Is because there are less whales ? Colder waters ? Less fish ? I no there are places like flinders and Phillip Island that do have great whites because of the nobby's ( seal colonies) and I guess everywhere around Victoria has great whites but they don't seem very interested in humans down here in Victoria ( in the Phillip Island point I assume because they are well fed because of the seals). An answer would be greatly appreciated by anyone as I find this a very interesting subject.
Cheers

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velocityjohnno Saturday, 29 Aug 2015 at 5:43pm

Hi Sorrento, I'm just a guy who posts here, and will have a shot at answering your question, I'm in Vic now as well.

Vicco at present seems to be in a safety bubble of sorts. I grew up in WA, and I'm continually surprised at the size of paddle offshore crew will do without thinking about it too much. Back in WA, it'd be sketchy these days. We noticed more and more sightings and 'drive by's' in the late 90's, then from 2000 onward there were fatal attacks in WA. Could it be after a period of curiousity the animals became more brazen?

There are pointers in Vic. For sure. In times of old it had the reputation as having really big sharks. White tag informs us that they do occur around Philip Island, and have been tracked bee-lining to Cape Otway, then hugging the coast. Are there pupping grounds in Gippsland to the border? They do go further south from there, and are encountered on the Tassie East coast and presumably the islands in between. Australia apparently has two populations of GWS - an east coast one and a West Coast one. The West coast mob's range is from SA through to Exmouth. The East Coast from Barrier Reef down to Tassie. Now Victoria is in a gap between these. You will get residents at PI and apparently out Portland way as well, but whether it's the East Coast whites or not we see, I cannot say. Have these sharks become familiar with humans after seeing those cage-diving experiences?

Other factors, some time ago one of the fisho posters here mentioned that Western SA's gillnets were moving to the Straight, I wonder if this is still in effect? Also, this time of year (like WA) sees schools of snapper congregate in the bay and Westernport to spawn, out of reach of the NW winds. Juvenile whites follow these and back in WA we knew these months as 'shark season'. So read the fishing columns in your local paper, work out what the fish are doing as well. Vic gets the Southern Right whales in winter, I think, but do we get humpbacks that the GWS follow north?

On our coast you'll get times in the summer when a shark will come in close, be reported up and down the coast. I've heard stories of big ones sticking their heads out of the water to check crew out, the whole curiousity aspect of it all. I have a son pretty close in age to you and we had one session where a 5m beastie was within about 70m of us for an hour before we were told to get out of the water - was it birthing, breeding or just resting? Don't know. It wasn't interested, luckily for us. I thought it's pectoral fins were a cormorant flapping around out the back, silly me!

Animal behaviour sees animals return to places where they have been successful in grazing or hunting. It is not too much of a hurdle to assume a white that has attacked a human will remember the encounter and act with that knowledge. In saying this I am almost at the 'rogue shark' theory.

Also, we have heard anecdotal evidence for a long time now of their numbers increasing. Makes sense as they have been protected for over 20 years. In that time, those sharks will be maturing and reaching a size (>3.5m) where they switch their diets from fish to mammals. Food for thought. The question is can we quantify this/any increase, and can we measure their natural food sources, are these increasing or decreasing?

Lastly, warm water anomaly, or stages of the moon, or seasons - these could all contribute.

So enjoy your time in the ocean, consider this and some of the excellent advise by Sheepdog and others about when to surf/where to surf to increase your chances of staying safe.

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Sorrento Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 11:35am

Thanks velocityjohnno for the response very interesting stuff

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uncle_leroy Tuesday, 25 Aug 2015 at 12:01am

Toes up in the Tuncurry area, dolphin on the menu - http://www.manningrivertimes.com.au/story/3300529/dolphin-mangled-by-sha...

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udo Wednesday, 26 Aug 2015 at 1:44pm

11.57am - DPI have captured and tagged there first 3.5 mtr [GWS ?] shark at Ballina and will be released further out to sea.
: My Shark Radar

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ACB__ Wednesday, 26 Aug 2015 at 3:14pm

https://instagram.com/p/61TCBAszfh/?taken-by=mattwilko8

fuck me those bait balls really are in close. They make the whales look small!

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Distracted Thursday, 27 Aug 2015 at 1:59pm

Good to see the DPI is making a start with the tagging, pity is they're only catching the small ones so far. Based on WA's experience catching the big ones is not so easy.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-27/nsw-shark-tagging-begins-on-north-...
Curious to know the bait/technique they're using. Best bait would have to be a good whale fillet on a set of anchor sized gangs, so the next dead whale that floats up on a beach, the DPI should make sure they are there quick smarts to take a few strips off and throw in the bait freezer.

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freeride76 Thursday, 27 Aug 2015 at 2:27pm

they got 2 eh?

On the first day. Thats not bad. Not that they had to look too hard, they only got out of the rivermouth and they had their first one. Which any local surfer could have told them.
Unfortunately, they only have funding for 2 weeks and the nearest listening station for the acoustic tags is Coffs harbour.
They need a 6 month tagging program with listening stations at Evans, Ballina, Byron at the least to get a picture detailed enough to make any meaningful conclusions.
Also, stomach analysis would be extremely helpful to know what food source is holding these sharks in this area for so long.

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simba Thursday, 27 Aug 2015 at 3:39pm

Makes you wonder if any of the sharks previously tagged down around Stockton beach are up around the north coast and if they are why hasnt any thing been reported about them.

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seal Thursday, 27 Aug 2015 at 5:15pm

I hope the two they caught, they let go out to sea a bit , say around NZ!!

Hopefully by being caught ,they'll tell their mates is not such a good place to hang out anymore and they'll all fuck off out to sea a good distance.

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theween Friday, 28 Aug 2015 at 11:20am

And if the tagged GWS then attack someone? Hence my legal question.
Better to kill the buggers than tag them!

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udo Saturday, 29 Aug 2015 at 11:25am

ABC online : Craig Ison Evans head victim ...FARK

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Rabbits68 Saturday, 29 Aug 2015 at 11:56am

udo wrote: ABC online : Craig Ison Evans head victim ...FARK

Scary shit!! One very lucky but also very unlucky man.

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udo Saturday, 29 Aug 2015 at 3:58pm

Any shark huggers out there think this attack was a case of mistaken identity?

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Rabbits68 Saturday, 29 Aug 2015 at 5:07pm

udo wrote: Any shark huggers out there think this attack was a case of mistaken identity?

Clearly you don't :-)

How long is a piece of string??????

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Sorrento Saturday, 29 Aug 2015 at 4:28pm

I am guessing you are for killing great whites since you are calling people who support keeping great whites alive "shark huggers" UDO ?

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Sorrento Saturday, 29 Aug 2015 at 4:33pm

By just reading your comments previously I guess you are for culling sharks it seems

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velocityjohnno Saturday, 29 Aug 2015 at 5:22pm

"The 'marine heat wave' off Western Australia during the summer of 2010-11,"

http://www.fish.wa.gov.au/Documents/research_reports/frr222.pdf

Haven't read it all yet, but could we see co-incidence in the warm water anomalies?

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freeride76 Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 8:06am

Another white tagged off Sharps beach yesterday.
Surfed up near Broken, I counted 5 bait balls within a kilometre stretch.
Ditched the board and grabbed a rod after one of the big bait balls took a liking to the peak I was on.

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Lanky Dean Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 2:41pm

@ freeride,

Wise decision. When to surf ? when to catch food? good work on keeping the people informed !

" In psychology, decision-making is regarded as the cognitive process resulting in the selection of a belief or a course of action among several alternative possibilities. Every decision-making process produces a final choice that may or may not prompt action. Decision-making is the process of identifying and choosing alternatives based on the values and preferences of the decision maker."

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sharkman Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 9:58am

yeah udo , you a culler?

seems like the GWS are just following anomalies in the water temp and in turn the bait balls.

seems to be a lot of boogy boarders attacked, back to the turtle theory , and try and surf when there are BB riders in the water.

If there was a legal case to be mounted against the govt for legal , lack of "duty of care", the Govt might just close ALL beaches , which would kill off tourism and bring the authorities into controlling when you surf or not , but reading some of the fear and emotional driven arguments for culling,maybe that's what you are really asking , that the govt takes the responsibility for surfers wellbeing in the surf , FR76 could be the sherriff?

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Blowin Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 11:27am

Sharkman - do you honestly believe the mistaken identity / turtle theory ?

Come on mate, have you ever been diving ? Being underwater doesn't immediately render shapes indiscernible.

If I have no trouble recognising and differentiating animals underwater , then why would a superbly equipped shark with its impressive array of senses that has spent literally an entire lifetime in the ocean , have any difficulty ?

Do you mistake horses for cows in a paddock ?

Dogs for sheep ?

These fish have big eyes meaning good eyesight . Most attacks happen in clear water.

I understand you appreciate these animals.

So you can at least give them some credit.

It doesn't make them evil , malicious or vengeful just because they feel like snacking on a human.

It doesn't necessarily diminish your stance that they should be protected to admit this is so either.

You don't have to wilfully misinterpret facts to back your opinions.

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Rabbits68 Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 11:36am

Blowin wrote: Sharkman - do you honestly believe the mistaken identity / turtle theory ?

Come on mate, have you ever been diving ? Being underwater doesn't immediately render shapes indiscernible.

If I have no trouble recognising and differentiating animals underwater , then why would a superbly equipped shark with its impressive array of senses that has spent literally an entire lifetime in the ocean , have any difficulty ?

Do you mistake horses for cows in a paddock ?

Dogs for sheep ?

These fish have big eyes meaning good eyesight . Most attacks happen in clear water.

I understand you appreciate these animals.

So you can at least give them some credit.

It doesn't make them evil , malicious or vengeful just because they feel like snacking on a human.

It doesn't necessarily diminish your stance that they should be protected to admit this is so either.

You don't have to wilfully misinterpret facts to back your opinions.

Hey Blowin, why do GWS bite outboard motors & surf skis. Plenty of examples. If that's not mistaken identity then what would be the nutritional value? :-)

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Blowin Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 12:13pm

I reckon curiosity Rabbits.

I'm pretty certain they're not mistaking a 16' Quintrex runabout with a 50hp Yamaha outboard for a turtle.

But....don't think that I mean that all attacks on humans are curiosity .

I reckon some ski bites are attacks.

Why not ?

Rabbits68's picture
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Rabbits68 Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 3:17pm

I agree. A combination of attacks & curiosity re boats/ski etc....

The issue with curiosity where humans are involved (if it's indeed curiosity) usually results in horrific injuries or death. For me it gets back to the fact that you, me & even the "shark experts" don't know if mistaken identity is real or not. It just sounded like you believe that mistaken identity is bullshit. Some proof would be handy if that's the case. Cheers....

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sharkman Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 11:38am

there was a spate of shark attacks in Hawaii/Oahu , all big tigers , there was only boogy boarders attacked , and the theory was they look like big turtles , actually saw a program where they tested the theory and yeah big Tigers love to attack and eat turtles.

they also showed that the shark attacks come from the bottom and came up underneath the turtle and just crushed it with a bite. that's a fact

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Blowin Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 11:54am

So the facts are - Tigersharks like eating turtles ( who'd have thought ).

- boogie boarders were attacked by Tigersharks .

That explains it then. All doubt removed.

I guess the Tigersharks must also mistake all those number plates, garbage bin lids, seabirds , fish , dogs and squid for turtles too then.

Stupid Tigersharks.

Or maybe all the sharks have cataracts.

And no sense of smell.

And their ampullae of lorenzeni are uncalibrated .

Or maybe they just eat whatever the fuck they want to eat irrespective of how uncomfortable that information may be to the humans that wish to paint sharks as animals that have strict dietary guidelines that prohibit the eating of homosapiens .

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sharkman Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 12:11pm

Blowin wrote: So the facts are - Tigersharks like eating turtles ( who'd have thought ).

- boogie boarders were attacked by Tigersharks .

That explains it then. All doubt removed.

blowin no such thing as no doubt in anything , but , its just a theory , like all the other info we have on sharks. I find it amazing that there has been a very high percentage of attacks on the Nth coast on boogy boarders , is there a lot more surfers than boogers??

the GWS seem to be not consuming the bodies after the attack , seems to be just an anomaly with warm water and lots of bait fish....

I guess the Tigersharks must also mistake all those number plates, garbage bin lids, seabirds , fish , dogs and squid for turtles too then.

Stupid Tigersharks.

Or maybe all the sharks have cataracts.

And no sense of smell.

And their ampullae of lorenzeni are uncalibrated .

Or maybe they just eat whatever the fuck they want to eat irrespective of how uncomfortable that information may be to the humans that wish to paint sharks as animals that have strict dietary guidelines that prohibit the eating of homosapiens .

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Sorrento Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 11:51am

Just in response to udo's comments and many other people's views on the issue at hand surly you believe there are better ways to stop sharks from attacking humans then just culling them. It's a quick and easy solution that actually doesn't benefit anyone. Sure all the Sharks that are hanging around will be gone but what about this summer and next winter what are we supposed to just kill every shark that comes near Beach's?. We are in sharks habitat when we enter the water we go into there territory knowing the risks involved but we still go in the water because we know the chances of getting attacked are very slim ( touch wood). There have been many good suggestions that have been made that are much better than just culling sharks. blowin are you for culling aswell?

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Blowin Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 12:00pm

I was for culling Sorrento, but after fishing all morning for the death of a mere handful of voracious man eaters I'm starting to rethink my position.

That Pointer blood is a pain in the arse to get out of the shag carpet covering the floor of my tinny for a start.

And don't get me started on trying to get hold of a regular supply of homeless people as bait.

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Blowin Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 12:07pm

No Sorrento , I'm not for killing all the sharks.

But you've got to admit, it would be difficult to get eaten by a pointer if there wasn't any left.

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sharkman Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 12:12pm

well you could always get eaten by a Tiger or a bull shark , or are you partial to GWS's?

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freeride76 Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 12:16pm

The whole mistaken identity thing is a total red herring with respect to the danger posed by sharks to humans.

All we know is that sharks are opportunistic, ambush predators and they'll have a go at just about anything. Most of that is probably investigative bite behaviour but that is really irrelevant because an investigative bite from a white will cause severe injury or death.
All this touchy-feely nonsense that sharks aren't really interested in humans should be taken down the back paddock and put to sleep.
We also know that shark management programs are effective but kill alot of other wildlife. If shark numbers continue to rise and people keep getting killed or maimed then that will be the next step , as MIke Baird has indicated.
Personally, if it comes to that point, in terms of ethics and ecology I'd much rather see a targeted management program than one that kills other wildlife indiscriminately.

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Blowin Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 12:23pm

Sharkman, do you spend much time at the beach ?

If you do then surely by now you've come across dead animals - Whales, dolphins, turtles, fish - that have bites out of them.

Often just a single bite.

I reckon that sometimes sharks just take a single bite in an attempt to fatally wound an animal then they wait till the animal dies before they can come back and consume it without fear of being injured by the panicked, dying animal.

Sometimes these animals get away.

Sometimes they have mates that help drag them to shore and apply
Life saving first aid.

I can't really understand your reluctance to entertain the idea that a fish would eat a human.

It seems to have an ideological rather than an evidence based foundation.

Maybe you need to start doing a bit of fishing or diving to get a better understanding of how life in the ocean works.

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sharkman Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 1:23pm

blowie , have fished and surfed since the sixties , in waters that have always have had big whites and Tigers.

In Hawaii ,Tigers are considered man eaters , but here in WA I have seen tigers most of my life , especially up in the NW , but never been an attack.

The stats do not show people being devoured as food , but rather the GWS's come in for a test tasting .

your personal theory about the shark attacking a food source , and then because its scared waits until its prey dies .

you must be taking the piss , I think you need to go out an educate yourself , try reading !

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Blowin Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 1:57pm

Yeah I was going to read my shark book this morning to educate myself on their behaviour, but i wound up going fishing instead.

Spaniards must look a lot like turtles as well as they kept getting nailed by Noah's .

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freeride76 Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 12:28pm

There's plenty of evidence of white sharks consuming or partially consuming humans.

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sharkman Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 1:15pm

would be interested to read your stats on bodies being consumed , as I can't find any stats anywhere?

I did find a couple of anomalies though .

In 1957 in Durban Sth Africa , there was 7 attacks in 107 days with 5 people being killed but not devoured , was really warm inshore waters.

Also there was this The Great White Shark - Facts, Stats, & Cool Info...

http://www.sharksider.com/great-white-shark/Cached

as I have previously mentioned , the north coast shark population and attacks looks like an anomaly ..

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chin Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 1:44pm

sharkman wrote: would be interested to read your stats on bodies being consumed , as I can't find any stats anywhere?

I reckon they would if they could. How big would the stomach be on a 4 or 5 metre shark anyway? Long bones in arms and legs of a human. maybe they could consume 100kgs of fish or whale meat, but it would take a much bigger shark to consume a 100Kg human.
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Blowin Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 1:56pm

Google " Fatal shark attacks in Australia. " Wikipedia. Just check out the WA section .

Plenty eaten .

Plenty eaten by Tigers.

That's just the reported cases.

I particularly liked the whole ships crew eaten by Noah's.

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freeride76 Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 1:34pm

Based on what?
Water temps have been slightly but not significantly higher. It's all been pretty bog standard as far as environmental factors are concerned.

I didn't say stats I said evidence. White shark wouldn't relinquish the body of the JBay swimmer. Guy bitten in half surfing at Moreton Island was towed around by white shark for an hour. They didn't get much of him back.
Tadashi had both legs bitten off.
If you read the case histories there is ample evidence of consumption or partial consumption. It's not the majority of cases but it does happen.

btw, that link you provided is dead.

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udo Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 1:44pm

List of fatal shark attacks wiki page - pretty much have search further online after picking attack to find out if bodies were recovered

At a guess around 60% of attacks in Aust waters were classed as full consumption
Sharkman - 5 out of the last 12 in your waters were full consumption ..I think

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sharkman Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 1:47pm

Udo , I think , is not really a stat , but will keep searching as most of the attacks seem to have been a bite!

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udo Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 1:56pm

18 off the top of my head where no body recovered......let us know how many come up in your searches

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gromfull Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 1:44pm

You don't look too hard then, sharkman, Julian rocks, diver, yes a diver, husband and wife, wife witnessed husband being bitten in half, remains never found, that what I remember of that attack.
If we could separate the oceans, one ocean where all you shark hungers can allow these sharks to populate and go uncontrolled that's where you surf, and one where controlled measures are taken, culling a few, maybe killing one big one every year and leaving it's carcass to rot, that's the ocean I'm surfing in

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surfer1971 Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 5:25pm

Actually Ron Boggis from Byron Bay caught the GWS with a 3000 pound trace and the shark regurgitated the body of the male when it was next to his boat in the middle of the Bay. Ron said that it was bigger than his boat which at that time was 22ft. They did shoot it but to no effect. Apparently the local Police SGT put in a couple of rounds to the head. Agree that we need them to be culled. Shapers like Ghunter Rohn and Wayne Webster have had there orders vastly reduced as no surfers are surfing the Ballina area. Tourism is worth a lot more than a few sharks.

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Blowin Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 2:06pm

Repeat after me Sharkman -

" Sharks, whilst not evil , have been known to occasionally dine on man flesh. "

Just say it mate, you will feel liberated.

This denial is too great a burden to bear.

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tassitails Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 4:34pm

full moon at the moment !!!!!!!!! ..... a dozen surfers chased in by 15ft shark coupla hours ago, at break on east coast tasmania, not far from fatal attack a month ago

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udo Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 4:48pm

Tassi, can you put all your info up on - My shark Radar.

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maddogmorley Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 5:34pm

Now they're down at Victor Harbor.!The whole Day st stretch ordered out the water by clubbies due to sighting. Never had that in 20 yrs + down there.

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tassitails Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 5:51pm

done !!!!!! @ udo

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gromfull Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 8:32pm

That's right 71 I remember that now, bloody gruesome stuff,

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udo Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 8:51pm

If you google Ron Boggis that storys there. Killer tales from dangerous depths.

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Blowin Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 9:17pm

Holy shit ,that makes for riveting reading Udo.

Just goes to show how much wilful denial occurs within the scientific community.

Despite repeated eyewitness accounts from as far ago as you'd care to venture it has only just been accepted, and doubtfully ,that Pointers would hunt as a team or that they consume human flesh.

Ridiculous notions that still get spewed to this very day.

Some idiots need to see Karl Stephonovic verbally drilling a Pointer into admitting culpability on Sunrise before they'll accept the truth.

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Rabbits68 Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 9:27pm

What are you saying Blowin? What is this truth you speak of?

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Blowin Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 9:30pm

That sharks do eat people.

You wouldn't think it was a controversial notion , but apparently to our mate Sharkman ,it is.

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Rabbits68 Sunday, 30 Aug 2015 at 10:53pm

Yeah it's a hard pill to swallow for some. Cheers....

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sharkman Monday, 31 Aug 2015 at 9:29am

yes sharks do eat people Blowin , but humans are not a priority in the food chain , as are seals and dead whales , so to think that the GWS's are out there specifically hunting for human flesh is not true.

http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/news/2010/09/shark-attack-survivo...

fear is a terrible thing when fed inordinate amounts of false theories and speculation over a short period of time.

there seems to be no record anywhere of sharks having a preference for human flesh.

apex predators are a necessary part of the eco-system , and with more than 50 million sharks killed a year maybe we are seeing the result of humans messing with the eco-system .

Its amazing when you start reading all the info about sharks and the surfers here on the forum look like a bunch of hysterical school girls calling for culling so that they can go surf . Even at the expense of destroying the eco-system that provides us with a large part of our food and recreational past times , grow a pair will you and accept that if you surf , there is a small risk of shark attack , or maybe we should rubberize all the coral reefs so we won't get hurt!

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mk1 Monday, 31 Aug 2015 at 1:37pm

its a logical fallacy to think that a sharks intentions make any difference to the outcome.

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sharkman Monday, 31 Aug 2015 at 2:05pm

Mki, the question is , "have humans become part of the food chain for sharks or is it sharks just testing a new food source?"

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freeride76 Monday, 31 Aug 2015 at 2:29pm

Meaningless question.
A bad question begets a bad answer.

We already know that sharks are biting humans we can't , nor do we need to know, what the sharks motivation for this is.

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Rabbits68 Monday, 31 Aug 2015 at 3:00pm

freeride76 wrote: Meaningless question.
A bad question begets a bad answer.

We already know that sharks are biting humans we can't , nor do we need to know, what the sharks motivation for this is.

FR76 I would of thought learning the "motivation" would go someway to putting together potentially safer guidelines when it comes to surfing & sharks & possibly assist in the creation of a potential deterrent.....

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sharkman Monday, 31 Aug 2015 at 3:26pm

education = meaningless , now that's deep , bad question?

Free 76 do you think that trying to workout if sharks are biting out of hunger or biting out of curiosity , maybe in your world, education and understanding don't matter ?

I would love to know if sharks are making a mistake , or are actually developing a taste for human flesh , and this needs to be done scientifically , not knee jerk ignorance that simply calls for culling.

http://www.animaldanger.com/most-dangerous-animals.php

hey Free76 do you think we should cull elephants /Hippos / buffalos/lions/jellyfish/tigers as they kill a lot more people than sharks?

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mk1 Monday, 31 Aug 2015 at 5:49pm

"hey Free76 do you think we should cull elephants /Hippos / buffalos/lions/jellyfish/tigers as they kill a lot more people than sharks?"

Many of those are culled after they kill someone and a lot of them are actively managed locally to reduce such issues, but that isn't relevant to FNNSW anyway, its just a bunch of hyperbole.

Actually following that dangerous animals link to Australia comes up with a whole pile of whacky BS. No GWS deaths, 500 saltwater crocodile deaths, 10-20 brown snake deaths a year?? seriously who put that site together??

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sharkman Tuesday, 1 Sep 2015 at 10:28am

MkI , try reading the whole article as it puts GWS deaths at between 10 + pa !

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mk1 Tuesday, 1 Sep 2015 at 12:11pm

Follow the link to Australia like I said. Nothing.

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mk1 Monday, 31 Aug 2015 at 5:27pm

Understanding sharks attacking motivation is a great long term study that will be fraught with conjecture and assumptions. Get a huge grant and we will see you in 5 years for a response that may or may not be conclusive. Most likely shark repellents will have successfully nullified the imperative for this question by the time you know.

The question is "how do we significantly reduce the likelihood of sharks biting people right now?"

Shark deterrents are the mid term answer, we must be less than 2-3 years away from them being proven successful and put into widespread use.

Whats the bridging answer from here to there? Stay out of the water and/or deal with it (great idea! not).

There's plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that sharks leave an area where one of their kind has been killed. It'd be great to do a scientific study on that while we have such an opportunity as this. In this case I see the culling of a small number of GWS as an environmental non-event, and I am very green focused (but try to be pragmatic about our influence).

But then I tend to think that GWS are not critically endangered in the area and that humans regularly do far more damage than the culling of a few GWS would inflict without anyone raising the merest of concern. If you really want to give a shit about the natural environment become a vegetarian, get your energy from green sources, offset your carbon, avoid all plastics, cancel your holiday and your new surfboards, clean your local beach, put your dog/cat down, get some beehives, become a wildlife rescue officer, and then feel free to give a shit about 1 or 2 sharks.

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Rabbits68 Monday, 31 Aug 2015 at 6:48pm

mk1 wrote: Understanding sharks attacking motivation is a great long term study that will be fraught with conjecture and assumptions. Get a huge grant and we will see you in 5 years for a response that may or may not be conclusive. Most likely shark repellents will have successfully nullified the imperative for this question by the time you know.

The question is "how do we significantly reduce the likelihood of sharks biting people right now?"

Shark deterrents are the mid term answer, we must be less than 2-3 years away from them being proven successful and put into widespread use.

Whats the bridging answer from here to there? Stay out of the water and/or deal with it (great idea! not).

There's plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that sharks leave an area where one of their kind has been killed. It'd be great to do a scientific study on that while we have such an opportunity as this. In this case I see the culling of a small number of GWS as an environmental non-event, and I am very green focused (but try to be pragmatic about our influence).

But then I tend to think that GWS are not critically endangered in the area and that humans regularly do far more damage than the culling of a few GWS would inflict without anyone raising the merest of concern. If you really want to give a shit about the natural environment become a vegetarian, get your energy from green sources, offset your carbon, avoid all plastics, cancel your holiday and your new surfboards, clean your local beach, put your dog/cat down, get some beehives, become a wildlife rescue officer, and then feel free to give a shit about 1 or 2 sharks.

You are taking the piss aren't you?? How fucking mighty of you to suggest that there is a solution that will be guaranteed to work within the next few years. How do you know that killing one or hundred GWS will have any effect on human fatalities. Talk about misplaced fear. Yes research will take time, that's the nature of quality research. Yes we could trial new ideas in the meantime, but to suggest that you have "the answer" is based purely on fear & ignorance in the extreme. It's the ocean, it's wild & untamed for the most part. How about in the meantime you learn to live with it.......

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freeride76 Monday, 31 Aug 2015 at 6:54pm

Rabbits, you're projecting, try reading the words he said.

He didn't say guaranteed to work, he said there is plenty of anecdotal evidence and that a scientific study now on that option would be opportune.

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Rabbits68 Monday, 31 Aug 2015 at 7:03pm

He said, and you agreed, that killing some GWS now & into the next few years will essentially solve the problem. I'm open minded on the subject but anyone making assumptions that "any actions" taken will result in definite outcomes is in dreamland. Some prior proof would be lovely.......

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freeride76 Monday, 31 Aug 2015 at 7:18pm

With respect Rabbit's, I can't see those words at all in what he said.

He didn't say it would solve the problem, or result in any definite outcomes.

He said there was anecdotal evidence it might keep other whites away and that now was an opportune time to test it scientifically.

Thats a very different thing to what you are saying.

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mk1 Monday, 31 Aug 2015 at 7:32pm

haha oh jesus!

Rabbit, I really intended as FR has put forward.

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Rabbits68 Monday, 31 Aug 2015 at 7:48pm

With all due respect to yourself & FR76, your tone did not match your intentions in your post IMO. What I'm not hearing from people in favor of a cull, is that it simply may not have any effect what so ever. That said, there's only one way to find out, I agree. But even after a cull we will have to wait for a period of time, one month, ones year, 10 years, to learn anything from it, if anything at all. It's a big unknown all this shark attack stuff.......hence my interest in research......

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freeride76 Monday, 31 Aug 2015 at 5:40pm

x a million

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theween Monday, 31 Aug 2015 at 6:21pm

Mk1 - you've hit the nail on the head!

Sharkman - I suggest that you should be culled for shamefully trivialising the deaths and injuries to north coast surfers, in particular, over recent months.
Culling some GWS should help restore some balance to our ecosystem and is the 'Blind Freddy' solution to our current problem.

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sharkman Tuesday, 1 Sep 2015 at 9:10am

theween wrote: Mk1 - you've hit the nail on the head!

Sharkman - I suggest that you should be culled for shamefully trivialising the deaths and injuries to north coast surfers, in particular, over recent months.
Culling some GWS should help restore some balance to our ecosystem and is the 'Blind Freddy' solution to our current problem.

thweeny, good solution , make up that I trivialized deaths and injuries, and the if you don't like my opinion cull me , then you talk about restoring balance to the eco system by culling the apex predator , as you don't know which ones actually attacked , just cull a few and you will fee alright , as its all about you and yourself!

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Sorrento Monday, 31 Aug 2015 at 7:43pm

Theween I think a point I would like to make is that sharks have the same amount of rights if no more right to be in the ocean as they were here long before us. Although these attacks are of course tragedys that does mean that we need to cull these beautiful creatures. This is where they live they can't live out of the ocean which gives them the right to be able to be in the ocean without being culled. Every surfer and swimmer goes into the water knowing the risks involved by entering the water but we still go to the beach because we know that the chance of getting bitten is very slim. Instead of culling we should research and discover ways to reduce this risk without just simply just killing the animals as this is a quick and easy solution which has been actually proven to not actually lessen the risk of being bitten by a shark.

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freeride76 Monday, 31 Aug 2015 at 7:57pm

Thats nothing but anthropomorphic opinion Sorrento, you can no more bestow rights on shark or any other animal in nature than you can on yourself.
You call them beautiful, others see them as cold and hostile. It's purely subjective.

What next, you bestow rights on a wildebeest not to be predated on by a lion?

btw, at the moment, when wild dingo attacks a person or becomes a problem it is culled, crocs are culled in the NT and relocated in QLD.
Whats your opinion on the death of beautiful creatures like the swordfish or the tuna?

We are a part of nature and nature is red in tooth and claw. Animals kill each other, we kill animals. Animals kill us. We try and defend ourselves from being killed by animals.
It's been that way since amoeba started dividing in the protoplasmic soup.
You get an infection from a bacteria you hammer it with antibiotics, maybe the microbiologist sees that bacteria as a beautiful creature, but to you it's a threat to your life.

Unlike a shark humans have a consciousness, we have a memory and an ability to love. That enables us to have relationships and experiences on a higher plane to a shark. That makes our fellow humans, our friends and loved ones, more special to us than a shark. That justifies a killing when those lives are threatened. As we justify any killing in self defence or to lower the risk of a fatal attack.
Thats why we have shark management programs in QLD, NSW, South Africa: because people decided that, yes, people are more important to us than a shark. That is purely subjective to, but seeing as we have the ability to communicate and a shark does not I have to assume that that is so.

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manbat Monday, 31 Aug 2015 at 8:43pm

There is nothing in that post that is anthropomorphic perhaps you meant anthropocentric?

Yes you can bestow rights on animals in nature and ourselves, we do it all the time. This is not anthropomorphic.

No nature is not red in tooth and claw,

Sharks do have a consciousness.

Sharks do communicate.

Very anthropocentric post but you make some good points.

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flow Monday, 31 Aug 2015 at 7:59pm

I agree with mk!. I wouldn't lose any sleep in culling one GWS.

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theween Monday, 31 Aug 2015 at 8:03pm

Beautifully put Freeride , although poor young Sorrento might be reaching for the thesaurus as we write!

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Sorrento Monday, 31 Aug 2015 at 8:13pm

I don't think many people would loose much sleep killing a great white shark either flow I am more speaking on a broader sense- some people are suggesting culling not just 1 but much more which I think is quite extreme as culling has never actually been proven effective. I wouldn't loose sleep over the killing of a GWS but I think there are better ways of adressing the issue than just culling sharks as in Western Australia it did not even reduce the chance of getting attacked and they often didn't even catch the right type of shark ( what's the point of doing something if it doesn't actually do anything about the problem it just helps in the short term not in years to come- it's pointless).

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Sorrento Monday, 31 Aug 2015 at 8:16pm

Sure they could try killing one GWS and see if deters them away but if you start culling them in mass numbers That's when it's just not right ( I will admit theween anthropomorphic got me had to search that up )

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