More dangerous sharks in the Richmond River
IN another report guranteed to send chills up the spines of swimmers and surfers, four bull sharks were tagged and released in the Richmond River at Ballina on Thursday night.
The report which appeared via the NSW Department of Primary Industries Shark Smart app, said all four sharks were male and were between 1.51m and 1.62m in size.
A DPI spokesman said the sharks were caught in and around the mouth of the river using SMART Drumline technology.
"The sharks were juveniles, sized at 1.62m, 1.58m, 1.51m and 1.53m,” the spokesman said.
"Last night's tagging effort brings the total number of bull sharks tagged to 28 since August 2015.”
When a tagged shark swims within 500m of a VR4G listening station, an instant alert is sent via the DPI SharkSmart app and Twitter feed.
"The tagging research undertaken by NSW DPI provides vital information about sharks and their movements on the North Coast,” the spokesman said.
"The more information we have, the better equipped we are to implement measures to increase safety.”
Tagged sharks are tracked by a series of underwater listening stations deployed along the coastlines of Australia.
"The public can receive real time information from all of the NSW DPI tagged sharks by downloading the SharkSmart app or following us on Twitter @NSWSharkSmart,” he said.
"There are 20 listening stations along the NSW Coastline with seven located on the North Coast, at Kingscliff, Byron Bay, Yamba, Ballina (Sharpes Beach), Lennox, Evans Head and Coffs Harbour.”
Bull sharks are apex predators and are listed by the International Shark Attack File, as the third most aggressive shark species to humans, only after the great white and tiger.
Ballina Shire councillor Phillip Meehan said he was unaware DPI had smart drum nets in the Richmond River.
He repeated his call to install an eco-barrier near Missingham Bridge to protect residents and visitors.
"My wife and I have seen sharks in the Richmond River and we need to enhance the safety of people using this popular beach adjacent to the Shaws Bay Caravan Park and the pub,” Cr Meehan said.
'This is one of the most popular beaches in Ballina.”
Recently dual-world champion surfer Tom Carroll, was surfing at Ballina and Lennox as a part of his deal to promote the Shark Shield technology.
Watch sharks being tagged.
DPI advice for SharkSmart swimmers
- Swim at a patrolled beach, between the flags
- Tell an on-duty lifesaver or lifeguard if a shark is spotted
- Leave the water if a shark is spotted or alarm is sounded
- Don't swim too far from shore
- Swim in groups
- Avoid surfing alone
- Avoid swimming and surfing when it's dark or during twilight hours
- Avoid murky water and waters with known effluents or sewage
- Avoid areas used by recreational or commercial fishers
- Do not swim/surf near or interfere with shark nets
- Avoid areas with signs of baitfish or fish feeding activity
- Do not rely on dolphins to indicate the absence of sharks - they often feed together
- Avoid having pets in the water with you
- Be aware that sharks may be present between sandbars or near steep drop-offs
- Avoid swimming in canals, and swimming or surfing in river/harbour mouths