Massive 'bait ball' brings shark frenzy to NSW coast as beachgoers warned to beware

Beachgoers are being warned to stay alert after schools of sharks were spotted feasting on a large bait ball of fish off the NSW Mid North Coast.

Great white sharks, bull sharks, bronze whalers, and even a whale could be seen close to surfers near Tuncurry on Tuesday.

The surveillance footage obtained by the NSW Department of Primary Industries shows a long, thick, black line and ball with a whale floating nearby

A whale and several sharks can be seen swimming around the ball of bait. Source: Storyful

Sharks can be seen circling the bait ball as it stays just behind the wave break.

The footage was recorded between Seal Rocks and Nine Mile Beach at Tuncurry.

The Department of Primary Industries told Storyful the footage was filmed as part of its “school holiday shark aerial surveillance program”.

Michael Brown of Surfwatch Australia said it's a unique time of year for sharks.

"Many would know that just up from Stockton Beach is one of the biggest great white breeding areas on the whole north coast,” he said,

“At the moment, we have baitfish and whales all coming close to shore, and where there is food, the sharks will be.”

Holidaymakers are being urged to steer clear of the water if they see birds striking and baitfish in the water.

Holidaymakers are being warned to steer clear of the water if they notice anything different. Source: Storyful

"When you get down to the water, look around," Mr Brown said.

"At the moment we have pilchards moving, salmon, all these sorts of things, so as I say, they are moving up and down the coast, if they are in the water, then it's best to rethink jumping in."

Mr Brown added he believes the increase in shark activity could last the whole summer.

"So far, we have seen a big increase, we have had reports up and down the coast of shark sightings and certainly huge schools of baitfish moving up and down, so unfortunately I think it is here to stay right through the whole summer," he said.