Sunshine Coast canal swimming with bull sharks

Emma Canavan

“*** WARNING WARNING WARNING *** - Do NOT swim in the Twin Waters canals.”

You certainly wouldn’t blame Sunshine Coast councilor Jason O’Pray for this alarming note on Facebook, which he attached to a video of a local canal estate that had several bull sharks swimming in the shallow waters below.

Cllr O’Pray posted the video on Thursday and it has already been viewed more than 300,000 times and shared more than 6,000 times.

One of the bull sharks living in a locked-in canal in Queensland.

But his alarm – and clearly that of others interested in the video – was not shared by locals.

One man, Kenny Lynch, wrote: "Been catching big bullies in there for years".

Another, Ty Johnston said: “We have been catching them in there for over 20 years before any houses or the grid was even thought about”.

Locals commenting on the video also debatied what should be done about the locked-in sharks.

The sharks in this Sunshine Coast canal came as no surprise to locals.

Cllr O’Pray said he was “on to it” in relation to finding a way to transfer the bull sharks to the ocean, while Mr Johnston said in his post there was “no point catching and releasing” them.

“There is hundreds and hundreds in there not just these 5 or 6,” he said. “Just make the public aware of them and respect them.”

Bull sharks are known for their aggressive behaviour.

Marine scientist David Schoeman has warned people to stay away from them, telling the Sunshine Coast Daily that if you get on the sharp end of a nudge from a bull shark, “you’ll end up with a hole in you.”

But it is perhaps dogs that need to be kept clear from the canals most of all.

“Dogs have a lot more oily gland and the way they move through the water is quite close to a distressed fish, so they have the tendency to get the attention of sharks, more than people," Shark researcher Dr Jonathan Werry told the ABC.