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Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Monster shark crisis: Catchers tag 14 great whites along a deadly strip of eastern coastline in just four days - as fishermen reveal the water is 'teeming with life'

  • Beachgoers need to be wary of great white sharks, which are 'teeming' waters
  • A total of 14 great whites were tagged last week, with another caught on Monday
  • The mass taggings come after surfer Mani Hart-Deville, 15, was killed by a shark
  • SMART drumlines on the NSW North Coast are allowing for more shark taggings 
Surfers and swimmers have been warned to watch out for great white sharks at New South Wales beaches, after a teenager was mauled to death earlier this month. 
A 2.38m great white shark was tagged and released using a new SMART drumline on South Ballina Beach, 50 minutes south of Byron Bay, on Monday. 
The popular coastline is said to be 'teeming' with the huge sharks, which have attacked several swimmers in the past few months while deaths are at a ten-year high.
Experts said the sharks are being drawn closer to the NSW coast by nutrient rich waters, which are progressively getting warmer.
Using the drumlines, shark catchers tagged 14 great whites in just four days between Lennox Head and Evans Head, both south of Byron, between July 20 and July 24.
Three of the great white sharks caught by NSW SharkSmart last week (pictured). Shark catchers tagged 14 great whites in just four days between Lennox Head and Evans Head
Three of the great white sharks caught by NSW SharkSmart last week (pictured). Shark catchers tagged 14 great whites in just four days between Lennox Head and Evans Head
A shark contractor who tags and releases the marine predators said the NSW north coast is 'teeming with life', according to Beach Grit. 
The mass shark taggings come after surfer Mani Hart-Deville, 15, was mauled to death by a shark at Wooli Beach, north of Coffs Harbour, on July 11.
Once the predators are tagged, they can then be detected by 21 shark listening stations along the NSW coast. 
Receivers can detect tagged animals within a 500 metre radius of the listening station and provide real time updates next to surfing and swimming zones, potentially saving hundreds of lives.  
A shark was detected at Bennet's Beach in Hawks Nest, one hour north of Newcastle, using the technology on Wednesday, while two more were detected near Crescent Head Beach earlier in the day.  
A total of 20 great white sharks were detected by Front Beach in South West Rocks and Main Beach in Yamba on Thursday alone.     
Dr Paul Butcher (pictured, left) extracts blood from a female white shark to examine her stress levels while Dr Amy Smoothey (centre) carefully internally tagged the animal
Dr Paul Butcher (pictured, left) extracts blood from a female white shark to examine her stress levels while Dr Amy Smoothey (centre) carefully internally tagged the animal
Earlier this month, 15-year-old surfer Mani was paddling out to his first wave of the day when he was viciously attacked by a shark. 
Surfer friends tried to fight the shark away before rushing the boy to the shore where he was given first aid for serious leg injuries but he could not be saved and died on the beach. 
Shark deaths have this year reached a ten-year high while statistics show the number of attacks has doubled over the last two decades.
Marine biology expert Robert Harcourt blamed the increase on warmer waters, claiming sharks were spending longer periods in popular surfing spots.
After teenager Mani Hart-Deville, 15, (pictured) was mauled to death by a shark north of Coffs Harbour a marine biology expert warned there is an increasing risk of shark attacks in NSW
After teenager Mani Hart-Deville, 15, (pictured) was mauled to death by a shark north of Coffs Harbour a marine biology expert warned there is an increasing risk of shark attacks in NSW
Dr Vic Peddemors tagging a 285 cm male Bull Shark while in tonic immobility (pictured). Tonic immobility is a trance-like state sharks go into when turned upside down
Dr Vic Peddemors tagging a 285 cm male Bull Shark while in tonic immobility (pictured). Tonic immobility is a trance-like state sharks go into when turned upside down
Mr Harcourt said the warm eastern current, pulling nutrient rich water from the bottom of the sea, was attracting prey fish and sharks. 
'Great whites off the northern NSW coast and bull sharks in Sydney used to stay around for about two months but now that's increasing to about five months,' he told The Australian.
'With the warming of the eastern Australian coast, we predict bull sharks are spending more time down south.
'We predict they will be spending a lot more time here in Sydney in the next ­decade.'   
Daily Mail Australia has contacted the NSW Department of Primary Industries, which runs the Shark Smart Program, for comment.      
A drone records a shark in Ballina on the NSW North Coast. The DPI is also using drones to detect sharks, with SharkSmart saying: 'Drones are the future for localised beach surveillance.'
A drone records a shark in Ballina on the NSW North Coast. The DPI is also using drones to detect sharks, with SharkSmart saying: 'Drones are the future for localised beach surveillance.'
Shark catchers can now easily catch and tag the marine animals thanks to SMART drumlines, which currently being trialled on the North Coast from Lennox head to Evans Head. 
Other trials were carried out across NSW in Newcastle, Sydney, Ulladulla, Kiama, Forster, Tathra, Merimbula and Coffs Harbour. 
'SMART' is an acronym for Shark-Management-Alert-in-Real-Time. Once a shark is caught by a drumline, catchers are immediately alerted. 
They then go by boat to the shark, tag it, and release it 1km away from shore. 
The DPI is also using drones to detect sharks, with SharkSmart saying: 'Drones are the future for localised beach surveillance.' 

RECENT GREAT WHITE SHARK TAGGINGS IN NSW

  • July 27: 2.38m White Shark tagged and released from SMART drumline at South Ballina
  • July 23: 2.55m White Shark tagged and released from SMART drumline at Sharps, East Ballina  
  • July 23: 2.60m White Shark tagged and released from SMART drumline at Lennox point, Lennox Head at 11:57am  
  • July 23: 1.91m White Shark tagged and released from SMART drumline at Lighthouse Beach, Ballina at 11:29am 
  • July 22: 2.35m White Shark tagged and released from SMART drumline at Main Beach, Evans Head at 03:01pm
  • July 22: 3.1m White Shark tagged and released from SMART drumline at Airforce Beach, Evans Head at 11:12am
  • July 22: 2.88m White Shark tagged and released from SMART drumline at Main Beach, Evans Head at 10:14am 
  • July 21: 2.2m White Shark tagged and released from SMART drumline at Airforce Beach, Evans Head at 03:21pm 
  • July 21: 2.12m White Shark tagged and released from SMART drumline at Main Beach, Evans Head at 01:10pm 
  • July 21: 2.53m White Shark tagged and released from SMART drumline at Airforce Beach, Evans Head at 11:37m
  • July 21: 2.3m White Shark tagged and released from SMART drumline at Boulders, Ballina at 09:38am
  • July 21: 3.5m White Shark tagged and released from SMART drumline at SOUTH BALLINA, Ballina at 09:20am 
  • July 20: 2.8m White Shark tagged and released from SMART drumline at Airforce Beach, Evans Head at 03:42pm 
  • July 20: 2.38m White Shark tagged and released from SMART drumline at Airforce Beach, Evans Head at 02:47pm 
  • July 20 2.65m White Shark tagged and released from SMART drumline at Main Beach, Evans Head at 09:32am 

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