Ballina beaches 'no-go zones' with surfers scared of sharks
UPDATE, 11am: PROMINENT surf writers and journalists are labeling Ballina beaches "no-go zones", saying many surfers are too scared of sharks to enter the water.
Derek Rielly, founder of Stab Magazine and BeachGrit, told news.com.au that he won't surf at Ballina any more.
"There's mass paranoia, or maybe it's not paranoia but good sense, among surfers on that Ballina-to-Byron stretch," Rielly said.
"Ballina is almost a no-go zone right now, particularly North Wall and Shelly Beach.
"I hear it from everyone who lives in Ballina.
"Personally, I've scratched the joint off my list."
Surf writer for The Australian, Fred Pawle, told news.com.au the same thing.
"We grew up at a time when sharks weren't really a problem. It was easy for us to ignore. There weren't that many then. You'd hear of sightings and attacks but everyone weighed up the odds.
"I've surfed by myself where people have been attacked but I wouldn't do it now."
ORIGINAL STORY: SURFERS are on high alert after a spike in the number of shark sightings in the Ballina and Lennox Head areas over the weekend.
Just after 11am on Saturday, the Dorsal Shark Reports Facebook page reported that aerial contractors had warned surfers after they spotted a 2m shark "lingering" off Lighthouse Beach at Ballina.
NSW Fisheries advised a tagged bull shark was detected by the Lennox Point receiver about 9.45am yesterday. Another tagged bull shark was detected at the same spot at 11.50am and 12.45pm.
A tagged bull shark was again detected at Lennox Point just after 7.30am this morning.
The Dorsal Shark Reports team has warned surfers to "please exercise extreme caution" in that area, due to the large number of shark reports over the past few days.
A 2m shark was spotted by a helicopter off Main Beach at Evans Head at 10am yesterday, and the shark alarm was activated.
Water police went up and down Lighthouse Beach at 10.30am Sunday, urging surfers to get out of the water after a shark was seen.