BIG CATCH: 29 two-metre-plus sharks have been caught this year.
BIG CATCH: 29 two-metre-plus sharks have been caught this year. Contributed

29 big sharks caught in Coast control program

THE Queensland Government's shark control program has captured 29 animals over two metres long off Sunshine Coast beaches this year, including a 4.72-metre tiger shark.

In all, 42 sharks have been captured by the program which uses nets and baited hook lines to stop large animals locating off popular beaches.

Fatal shark attacks on either side of the continent in the past two weeks have led to calls by some politicians, including Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett, for a shark cull in popular coastal areas.

A paddle-out at Coolum on Sunday morning will honour former boardrider Chris Boyd who was killed in a savage attack while surfing near Gracetown in Western Australia on November 24.

The Saturday after Mr Boyd's death, 19-year-old Zac Young was fatally mauled by a 3m tiger shark off a Coffs Harbour beach. His parents have urged authorities not to go on a shark hunt.

"So far this year (as of Dec

ember 2), there have been 42 sharks captured off Sunshine Coast beaches as part of the Queensland Government's Shark Control Program, 29 of which were considered particularly dangerous as they were over two metres,'' a Queensland Shark Control program spokesman said.

The largest shark caught so far this year was a 4.72m tiger shark at Yaroomba on January 10.

Others catches include a 4m great white shark at Coolum Beach (June 27), a 3.61m mako shark at Moffat Beach (June 28) and a 3.5m tiger shark at Sunrise Beach (August 2).

Experienced surfers Daman Weir and Leigh Sedley were in the water on Tuesday afternoon when they spotted a "pretty good-sized whaler shark cutting up mullet" in the surf directly in front of the Maroochydore SLSC.

Daman said incident was not out of the ordinary because surfers regularly sighted sharks in the water of Coast beaches.

The shark control program spokesman said people should leave the water

immediately if a shark was sighted.

JAWS FACTS

Swimmers and surfers should:

 Not enter the water after dusk, at night or before dawn when sharks are most active.

Avoid murky water and not swim in or near mouths of estuaries, artificial canals and lakes.

 Not swim alone or when bleeding.

 Avoid swimming near schools of fish or places where fish are cleaned.

 

How conscious are you of sharks when swimming at the beach?

This poll ended on 25 April 2014.

Current Results

It doesn't bother me, I don't even think about sharks

34%

Depends what beach I am at

29%

Terrified, I am scared of sharks

35%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.


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