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April 20, 2024

Shark sightings mar seasonal festivities

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Byron Bay Surf Life Saver Troy Eady shepherded this shark away from swimmers at Byron’s Main Beach on Boxing Day. Photo Troy Eady.

Around 8am this morning (Friday, December 28), a 2.4-metre bull shark was spotted at Lennox Head near Lake Ainsworth. Fortunately, no swimmers or surfers were nearby.

It’s just one of a number of shark sightings along the north coast that have closed beaches over the last week in otherwise perfect summer weather.

Byron Bay lifesaver Troy Eady took this photograph at Main Beach on Boxing Day, of a small shark swimming in a gutter inshore from swimmers and surfers.

‘Byron main beach Boxing Day patrol. It will be fine they said, there is no waves, what could go wrong,’ he quipped on Facebook.

Mr Eady later told local media he escorted the shark out of the flagged area and ‘no one was the wiser’.

Yesterday a 2.2-metre whaler shark was spotted south of Lennox Head at around 7.40am. No swimmers or surfers were nearby.

Further south at Angels beach a 2.7-metre bull shark was spotted at around 10am. No one was in the water at the time.

And at Ballina’s Lighthouse Beach, a 2.8-metre shark was tracked by drone and the water was cleared by lifeguards around 1pm.

On Boxing Day, a drone spotted a 2.3-metre ‘dangerous’ shark at the Pass, temporarily closing that beach at around 10am.

Not long after, a 2.3-metre bull shark shark, possibly the same shark, was spotted by drone and helicopter at Clarkes beach, which was also closed.

At Speeds Reef, East Ballina, a 2.8-metre bull shark was spotted at around 8am and, at Ballina’s South Wall, possibly the same shark was spotted at around 10.30am.

On Christmas Day, a 2.5-metre bull shark was spotted at Wategos by DPI aerial patrols, causing the beach to be evacuated.

Another was spotted at Snapper Rock at around 10am.


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  1. omg there are sharks in the ocean. And if people want to know they are there we now have drones, helicopters, sonar bouys, lifesavers and surfers on hand to spot and inform you. Now can we please pull up the ridiculous lethal shark nets that do nothing except kill innocent marine creatures.

    • I totally agree Dean. We don’t need nets, especially now we can spot sharks and give them some space.
      Maybe if the gov puts in a few more ocean pools, we can avoid sharks and jellys.
      Or a marine friendly barrier around the swimming area? I’d love to see some better alternatives to those awful nets.

  2. Errr…the nets are gone already folks.

    The news angle is that the sharks are plentiful right now, and so are the people in the water.

  3. For goodness sake! Wake up to reality…,This is the natural habitat of sharks. It is not a God given right for humans to swim in the sea. Are we to freak out if we go to a city & find humans there?
    Seriously….Time to start looking for the causes of sharks coming more frequently & unusually close to beaches. Time to start looking after our oceans, farming them responsibly & sustainably, not plundering as we are. Ban activities which create excessive noise from seismic testing, constant shipping & pollution


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