Sharks off WA beaches?

2 years 4 months ago #39366 by mrcharly
My brother lives on the coast, a bit north of Hilary's.

I said something to him about swimming and he told me that there are multiple sharks in the surf line so swimming off his local beach isn't safe.

Is it really that bad now?

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2 years 4 months ago #39368 by CrabStick
Replied by CrabStick on topic Sharks off WA beaches?
Have a look on the Sharksmart WA site. Click on each sighting icon for a description. There are a large number of sightings listed and many are fairly close in.
There is always an element of "the more you look, the more you will see"
We wouldn't get much ocean paddling done if we stayed clear of areas with recent sightings but it's a bit of a worry when a 5m shark is spotted 10m out from Port beach (Fremantle) where a lot of downwind runs start from. There was a fatal attack on a swimmer there in November.

CrabStick, Perth Western Australia
Current Boats: Epic V9 ultra, Fenn Swordfish S, Fenn Spark S
Previous: Think Eze, Stellar SR, Carbonology Boost LV, Fenn BlueFin S

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2 years 4 months ago #39369 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Sharks off WA beaches?
Crikey. I would discount a percentage of the 'public' sightings, since in my experience people see a fin and shout 'shark'.

But when the SLS lot report 3 different tiger sharks on the same day, same beach, that's high numbers.

Hardly ever saw one when I was a nipper. The risk never entered our heads.

Brother says the increase is being attributed to over fishing in the southern ocean.

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2 years 4 months ago #39379 by Watto
Replied by Watto on topic Sharks off WA beaches?
We've had 19 fatalities from sharks bites and attacks in WA since 2000 from a mix of swimmers/snorkellers, divers and surfers. There's been a recent move to rebrand reporting of 'attack' to 'bite' given some number of shark-related fatalities result from opportunistic bites (kind of a taste-test) with victims unfortunately dying from blood loss before they can be attended to. See this  from NY Post . Some 'bites' however have been catastrophic with on some occasions, no remains. Confirmed predators have all been great whites with several deaths from unidentified species. Four fatalities have occurred off Perth's local beaches (within 20kms or so of the CBD). 

Amongst the numerous sightings on Perth beaches as well as white pointers, are bronze whalers, tiger sharks and hammerheads. 

I don't think there's much 'hysterical' reporting myself as many sightings are corroborated as the shark or sharks move north, south or west by either surf lifesaving patrol observations, members of the public from shore, fishermen and those in boats as well as plane and helicopter patrols, reported via a range of apps at regular intervals.

I'm replying not to do a Wiki of shark sightings and bightings in Perth but to provide a perspective. As I've noted previously on this forum I've swum, dived, sailed, windsurfed and paddled over, under and in many of the above locations. Never seen a big shark (couple of bronzies only), but of course they are there. A week ago after multiple shark sightings just off the beach at Hillarys I was swimming at Sorrento Beach 6.30am glorious morn less than 1 km south of previous day's sightings all publicised in the media. I counted 70 swimmers (not people standing in the water) directly out from the surf club going one way or the other, people probably training for the Rottnest Channel swim (20kms from Cottesloe to Rottnest with thousands of competitors, solo, duo, teams). If not training for Rotto then for the WOW open water swim series. Following morning at Cottesloe similar numbers of people (in the hundreds, but spread out) up to 50-60 metres out swimming up to North Cott or Swanbourne. 

As paddlers do in SA (and most other places really) one just acknowledges that they're there and you get on with your water sports. Dip my lid to everyone just getting on with it, what a steely mob young and old, fantastic, but more significantly though given just my own observations in those two days after multiple sightings and a recent fatality, on any given morning there are thousands out on or in the water on our coastline and as unfortunate as the attacks/bites are the ratio of these against the 'bitten' is extremely small. Having said that, and on reflection just now, WA or Perth really still a pretty small community. My sister was on the beach at North Cottesloe the morning KC was taken, a good mate who I'm paddling the Rottnest swim for was the only person swimming near PM just before he was taken recently, leaving the water just before the attack because he was cold, and  next door neighbour's young daughter helped LB out of the water in Esperance .. sobering reminder though distant, is still nearby.

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