Sharks galore seen feasting in Byron Bay
PHOTOS have revealed up to 20 large sharks feasting on massive schools baitfish in clear water off Wategos and Clarkes beaches at Byron Bay today.
But according to a witness, two surfers have refused to get out of the water.
The Department of Primary Industries has asked beachgoers in the area to exercise extreme caution, and posted the photos to its SharkSmart handle on Twitter.
The photos were taken by the DPI's aerial spotting contractor's helicopter this morning.
They show sharks estimated between 1.5m to 3m long cutting a swathe through dense clouds of baitfish.
In one photo, two longboarders can be seen from the air directly over one of the baitfish schools, while another shows multiple surfers near a break separated from a shark by another large baitfish school.
On the Voice of Byron Facebook page, Robert Sampimon posted that his daughter, who was walking to the Cape Byron Lighthouse at the time, saw two surfers refusing to leave the water, and "they (not the sharks) are trying ensure the kayakers stay together until they can chase the sharks away".
A DPI spokeswoman said there were at least two different species of shark but it was impossible to say the type.
She added that such a large congregation of sharks in a small zone was "quite unusual".
Also, the sharks were venturing as far in as just off Clarkes Beach, in the area where a fatal attack took place in September 2014.