Ex­pert says it’s shark smart time

Sunshine Coast Daily - Caloundra Weekly - - NEWS -

AS MANY pre­pare to head out on the wa­ter in new boats, kayaks, surf­boards and more, a Coast shark ex­pert has warned now was a cru­cial time to be shark smart.

Tony Isaac­son said now was prime bull shark-breed­ing time and that meant ac­tive, testos­terone-filled male sharks would be more ac­tive and in ar­eas peo­ple might not usu­ally ex­pect them.

His warn­ing came af­ter a fish­er­man re­ported catch­ing and re­leas­ing two, 2m bull sharks on Sun­day night near the Bri­bie Is­land Bridge at Sand­stone Point.

The an­gler also caught and re­leased a large shovel-nosed ray, and re­ported miss­ing out on three other sharks.

It came af­ter a flurry of re­cent shark catches on Bri­bie Is­land, with hauls re­ported at Ocean Beach and Buck­leys Hole.

A large shark was also sighted on New Year’s Eve at Cooks Rock and was sus­pected to have been a large bull shark or even a tiger shark.

Mr Isaac­son said the “cor­ri­dor” of Pu­mice­s­tone Pas­sage, be­tween the main­land and Bri­bie Is­land, was a well-known haunt of many sharks.

He said a 2m shark was breed­ing size.

“Now is the time to have height­ened aware­ness,” Mr Isaac­son said. “If the wa­ter has some vis­i­bil­ity dur­ing a clear day the chance of a bull shark bump or bite is al­most zero.”

But Mr Isaac­son feared an­other down­pour could muddy lo­cal wa­ters and, when that hap­pened, bull sharks went into for­ag­ing mode and be­came more dan­ger­ous as they looked to in­ves­ti­gate food sources.

“They turn up in places we just don’t ex­pect them to be,” he said.

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