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April 15, 2021

Surfer ‘nudged’ by shark at Tallow Beach

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Byron Bay surfer Harry Docking was nudged by a shark in surf at Tallow Beach yesterday (Tuesday August 11). Photo Facebook
Byron Bay surfer Harry Docking was nudged by a shark in surf at Tallow Beach yesterday (Tuesday August 11). Photo Facebook

A Byron Bay surfer had a close encounter with a shark yesterday, although unlike other recent attacks on the north coast the animal swam off without sinking a bite.

But another shark was not so lucky at the weekend.

Tiger shark caught

Photos of a massive tiger shark have been posted on the Facebook page of Byron-based group, Positive Change for Marine Life.

A massive tiger shark, believed to have been captured off Seven Mile Beach at Lennox Head on the weekend. (supplied)
A massive tiger shark, believed to have been captured off Seven Mile Beach at Lennox Head on the weekend. (supplied)

According to local media the shark was caught by a commercial fisher about 14 nautical miles off Tweed Heads last month.

The shark was caught as part of commercial fishery and not as a ‘culling’ exercise.

But the photo caused a firestorm of reaction after it was posted on social media and has been reposted numerous times.

Positive Change for Marine Life spokesperson Karl Goodsell told Echonetdaily killing sharks was not the answer to the current situation on the northern rivers.

‘Removing them while not understanding anything about their behaviour or migration patterns is a band-aid solution, which all science to date reflects will not solve the problem of shark attacks,’ he said.

He said the shark was ‘definitely a tiger shark, about three and half metres, and sexually mature.’

Board spun around

Meanwhile, in the other encounter, Harry Docking was surfing with his son and a friend off McGregor Street in Suffolk Park when a shark nudged his board.

Mr Docking said both the other men had left the water when the shark attacked him.

He told ABC radio he felt something ‘punch the end of my board near the fin and the inside of my right foot’.

He added that it was only then that he saw the shark in the turbulent, sandy water.

Mr Docking said the animal was ‘bigger than my surfboard, so probably seven or eight feet’ and that it bumped the board with enough force to spin it around in the water.

He was unable to determine what type of shark it was but said the animal was a ‘greyish’ colour and had a ‘rough skin’.

In a bizarre irony, Mr Docking had taken to the water in memory of a friend, Ashley Wilmott, who was tragically killed by a dumping wave about 200 metres south of the same beach several weeks ago.

On Monday a shark was spotted at Flat Rock, at 10.30am. According to the report, the shark swam under a group of surfers, who reckon it was a white pointer about three metres long.

And on Sunday Air T&G reported seeing two very large sharks at Lighthouse Beach, Ballina at around 1pm.


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14 COMMENTS

  1. I’m not sure why all shark sightings are now reportable “news”. It’s like reporting every time someone spots a jelly fish. They do live in the ocean. Get over it.

  2. Not sure Renae, maybe it’s got something to do with the unprecedented number of attacks, encounters and sightings which have had devastating impacts on local communities.

  3. I was instantly sadened by the tiger shark story. What an amazing creature of nature. I am interested to know how it ended up dead. Aren’t you?

  4. As a surfer and fisherman who grew up in the Lennox/Ballina area and now resides on the Tweed Coast, I would suggest, with a fair degree of confidence that this photo was not taken off Lennox Head. The skyline in the background features Mount Warning from a North Eastern perspective. The picture was more likely taken off the Southern Gold Coast or just south of the border.

  5. they are migratory, they will pass on in good time as they have for thousands if not millions of years, but if they inconvenience a few tourists, KILL EM ALL

  6. Killing sharks is not the answer! What about the noxious dredge spoil being dumped from the Evans River near the shark attacks?
    Also, why not use drones to patrol for sharks? Much cheaper than planes and/or helicopters.

  7. Sharks need food, if we kill too many of the shark preferred food ( fish) then Nature -by the way of the shark looks for other less desirable food (and ways to create balance) -us. Sharks have already been dreadfully treated being hauled into boats all over the place and had their fins hacked off, then dumped back in the sea to die slowly. “How Serious A Threat is Shark Finning?
    Finning is responsible for the death of between 88 million to 100 million sharks every year. Exact numbers are unknown because the practice is illegal in many places and hauls aren’t accurately counted. Because sharks are at the top of the food chain and have few predators, they reproduce and mature slowly. That means their numbers are slow to replenish when a population is overfished. At the rate humans are going, we’re set to wipe out sharks entirely in as little as 10-20 years.”
    -I damn well hope our representatives care about Sharks, and will not consider the stupid action of culling. — Let’s all decide if we want the risk of swimming with sharks, – and how much fish we ‘need’ to eat. Watch Maddie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PC_Uw9z2ync

  8. Spot on Rossco, couldn’t have said it better. Hey once we’ve killed all the sharks, we could go after the bees, they kill people, then cows, yeah cows kill people. After all, aren’t humans the most important species on the planet???

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