When John Mashford and his son Joel, a member of the Byron Bay deep sea fishing club, took their boat out to Julian Rocks on Easter Sunday the last thing they expected was an encounter with a Whale Shark with no respect for physical isolation.
John said, ‘We were fishing near the Mackerel Boulder at Julian Rocks, drifting with the motor off, when a five meter ‘juvenile’ Whale Shark surfaced near the stern. This, beautiful, huge creature started nuzzling our four metre boat and continued to nudge us for about five minutes. We couldn’t believe how inquisitive the shark was and this is not a species that usually visit our waters. This a rare sighting and we feel so grateful and fortunate to have had the experience.’
Cape Byron Marine Park manager, Andrew Page told Echonetdaily, ‘This is the first sighting of a Whale Shark I’ve heard of in our region, it’s very exciting’