An investigation into shark behaviour and prevalence at Cid Harbour is under way.
An investigation into shark behaviour and prevalence at Cid Harbour is under way. Contributed

Shock conclusion from Cid Harbour shark research team

DESPITE reports of thousands of sharks swarming the Whitsundays, an investigation into their prevalence and behaviour has concluded not many are present in the area.

In a State Government commissioned investigation, the Biopixel Oceans Foundation sampled shark population over two weeks in September and December last year.

A report prepared by the foundation said overall the number of sharks in Cid Harbour in the seven days from December 13 was low.

"Catch rates from the shark control program that operated for a week in September 2018 were also low," the report stated.

"Sharks caught and sighted were mostly tiger sharks, spot-tail sharks and tawny nurse sharks.

The report noted the low number of sharks found was "somewhat surprising" and suggested not many sharks had been in Cid Harbour during both sampling times.

It was also noted no bull sharks, the species implicated as most likely to have attacked three people in the harbour, had been caught or sighted during the study.

As part of the investigation, scientists caught 28 sharks during the December study period; 11 of those caught within the Cid Harbour area were tagged with either acoustic or satellite receivers. This included two tiger sharks and a great hammerhead, all of which were tagged with satellite receivers.

 

Three shark attacks have occurred in Cid Harbour within seven weeks.
Three shark attacks have occurred in Cid Harbour within seven weeks. Melanie Plane

"One month after tagging, the two tiger sharks and the great hammerhead have been regularly surfacing and providing location information," the Biopixel report stated.

"All three sharks left Cid Harbour after being tagged, but so far remained in the Whitsunday Islands region."

Independent Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan said he was dubious about the results of the investigation.

Mr Costigan said people only had to remember his constituent, commercial fisherman Ron Brennan, who had a fishing net "shredded" by sharks.

"He said he has not seen anything like it. The sharks are exploding in numbers," Mr Costigan said.

"You know the credibility of this report - you have to ask who has organised this report and who has funded it.

"I maintain my view that the Whitsundays needs to fall into line with other populated centres in terms of the Queensland shark control program."


Teen light-headed after close shave

premium_icon Teen light-headed after close shave

Max Porter has lost his locks for a good cause.

Improvements in beach fishing

Improvements in beach fishing

This week's fishing report.

Croc sighting at beach on Friday

premium_icon Croc sighting at beach on Friday

Cannonvale man sees crocodile at beach on Friday morning.