West Aussies hoping for a swim this Easter long weekend have been dealt a deadly blow. Not one but five sharks were spotted off some of the state's best beaches on Thursday including a large great white.
The first, a four-metre unknown species, was sighted by the Surf Life Saving Westpac helicopter at Swanbourne Beach, a well known nudist beach in the city’s western suburbs, at 2.15pm. It was just 200 metres offshore and tracking southwest.
Less than an hour later, the chopper tracked a three-metre white shark swimming between Rockingham and Garden Island, around two kilometres from the beach, south of Perth.
While just before 4pm, a member of the public reported seeing three tiger sharks, all three metres long, off Port Denison, a town 350 kilometres north of the city. Surf Life Saving WA said the trio was seen “swimming in and around the port all day”.
Beachgoers now 'lake people'
While some on social media were unalarmed that sharks had been spotted in “their natural habitat”, others ruled out an ocean dip. “I hereby proclaim that going forward we are lake people,” one person wrote.
While someone else argued that it was shark mitigation measures that had drawn the creatures too close for comfort. “Never had these fellas so close to shore when there were NO NETTING,” they said.
Currently there are seven shark barriers in Western Australia aimed at reducing the risk of shark encounters, including one at Cottesloe Beach, just 2.5 kilometres south of Swanbourne Beach.
Just two other beaches in Perth boast beach enclosures including Coogee Beach south of Perth and Quinns Beach in the northern suburbs.
Also on Thursday, the Department of Fisheries tagged and released four white sharks in WA’s southwest. The 2.5, 4.3, 2.5 and 2.9 metre sharks were all picked up east of Bremer Bay with the closest being just 200 metres offshore.
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