Are white sharks moving south for the summer?
AFTER a wave of white shark attacks at Northern Rivers beaches in the past three months, are we starting to see white sharks move on for the summer?
Data from Department of Primary Industries shark listening stations suggest the answer is yes as the DPI's SharkSmart app has reported large numbers of white sharks in southern waters.
In the last day, more than eight white sharks were reported near Main Beach, Forster and more than 28 were identified at Hawks Nest.
Southern Cross University marine biologist, Dr Daniel Bucher said the spike in white shark sightings in southern waters was not surprising for this time of year as many white sharks migrate to colder waters.
"At about this time of year, we expect the population to withdraw south," Dr Bucher said.
The latest shark sighting via the SharkSmart app was a bull shark at Clarkes Beach, Byron Bay on October 29.
So does this mean there will be a white shark hiatus for the summer? Not necessarily according to Dr Bucher.
He said white shark migratory patterns are dependent on numerous factors, such as the mood and age of the shark.
The white shark that attacked a surfer at Broken Head last Monday is a timely example that some white sharks are lingering in the warmer waters of northern NSW.
Dr Bucher also said the DPI's SharkSmart app isn't a perfect shark spotting system.
The SharkSmart app can only inform ocean users when a shark has been detected via one of the DPI's shark listening stations positioned along the coastline.
Dr Bucher said the listening stations can't determine whether one shark has triggered the sensor multiple times or if multiple sharks have swam past the stations.