Bluff bait ball shark frenzy goes global

Pilbara News - - News - Chris Hook

A land­scape pho­tog­ra­pher has cap­tured one of na­ture’s rarest mo­ments on cam­era — hook, line and sinker.

Thou­sands of fish, hun­dreds of sharks, in­clud­ing dozens of bronze whalers, cre­ated a mass bait ball off the WA coast last week, with swim­mers, surfers and snorkellers able to get up close to the crea­tures.

Pho­tog­ra­pher Sean Scott said although he con­tem­plated go­ing in, he thought it best to leave them to it.

“I don’t think swim­ming in the mid­dle of a bait ball is the smartest thing to do,” Scott said.

“Watch­ing th­ese beau­ti­ful sharks flour­ish in their nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment was a priv­i­lege to see. What re­ally im­pressed me was how peo­ple and the sharks were co-ex­ist­ing side by side.”

Scott said the sharks swam around chil­dren on body­boards but were too busy eat­ing to take much no­tice.

Bait balls are the re­sult of tiny fish pack­ing to­gether as a de­fen­sive mech­a­nism when at­tacked and ap­pear as huge dark shad­ows in the wa­ter.

Scott said he had never seen a bait ball as big as this one, off the coast of the tiny town of Red Bluff, 1000km north of Perth.

Pic­ture: Di­imex/Sean Scott

Sean Scott cap­tured this im­age at Red Bluff.

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