Eight Australians have been killed in unprovoked shark attacks this year, which is the country’s highest number since 1934.
Fatal shark attacks occur all across Australia, but the most shark attack prone spot in recent years is the New South Wales far north coast.
One in six shark attacks have taken place in that region according to research conducted by Professor Rob Harcourt at the department of Marine Ecology at Macquarie University.
Fatal shark attacks occur all across Australian beaches, but the most shark attack prone spot in recent years is the New South Wales far north coast (Kingscliff Beach pictured)
Eight Australians have been killed in unprovoked shark attacks this year, which is the country’s highest number since 1934. Pictured: A jet ski rider monitors the movements of a massive shark lurking close to shore near where a surfer was mauled to death near Kingscliff in June
Surfer Mani Hart-Deville (pictured), 15, was catching waves when he was killed by a suspected great white shark at Wooli Beach, near Grafton on the NSW North Coast in July
There was a spate of 11 attacks on the NSW far north coast between 2014 and 2016, two of which were fatal, The Daily Telegraph reports.
Paul Wilcox was killed near Clarkes Beach at Byron Bay by a great white shark on September 9, 2014.
In February 2015, 41-year-old Japanese man Tadashi Nakahara was attacked and killed at Ballina.
The most recent fatal killing in the area was 60-year-old Rob Pedretti who died after being attacked at Salt Beach, south of Kingscliff in June this year.
‘We did have a spate of shark attacks up there in 2015, it coincided with cold water upwellings, and the same thing occurred in 2012 and in the same spot, both of those clusters coincided with those cold water upwellings which is why we attribute that to bringing the great whites closer to shore,’ Professor Harcourt said.
Temperature testing shows there is a current ‘cold water upwelling’ in northern NSW that sits close to the shore.
THE EIGHT FATAL SHARK ATTACKS IN 2020
January 5: Diver Gary Johnson, 57, was killed by a great white shark while diving with his wife near Esperance in WA
April 6: Wildlife ranger Zachary Robba, 23, was then mauled to death by a shark while swimming off the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland
June 7: Surfer Rob Pedretti, 60, was killed by a great white shark while he was boarding at Salt Beach near Kingscliff in far northern NSW
July 4: Spearfisher Matthew Tratt, 36, was mauled to death by a suspected great white shark in a ‘provoked’ attack on Fraser Island in Queensland
July 11: Surfer Mani Hart-Deville, 15, was boarding when he was killed by a suspected great white shark at Wooli Beach, near Grafton on the NSW North Coast
September 8: Surfer Nick Slater, 46, was mauled to death by a suspected great white at Greenmount Beach on the Gold Coast
October 9: Father-of-two Andrew Sharpe was killed by a shark while surfing at Kelp Beds in Wylie Bay, near Esperance on WA’s south coast
November 22, Cable Beach, WA: Charles Cernobori, 59, who worked at a Cable Beach hotel was killed by a 4m suspected tiger shark while bodyboarding 2km north of the main tourist section
Mr Harcourt said great white sharks favour cold water, which could be pushing them closer to swimmers and surfers.
‘It is full of nutrients and that concentrates a lot of fish so sharks come in to feed on those fish in those cold water upwellings and whites will come in with that,’ he said.
Esperance is a hotspot for shark attacks as Laeticia Brouwer (pictured), 17, was also killed by a great white while surfing in the WA town in 2017
Six out of seven shark-related deaths in NSW in the last ten years have been located north of Coffs Harbour.
Shark attacks along the NSW east coast between Wollongong and Newcastle have dropped substantially since mesh nets were introduced.
Between the 1910s and 1930 there were 21 fatalities resulting in the installment of shark mesh nets off a number of Sydney beaches in 1937.
‘There’s no doubt that because we have the shark meshing program with intensive coverage of the beaches between Newcastle and Wollongong there are now low shark numbers,’ Prof Harcourt said.
Mr Harcout said the meshing definitely helped but other changes such as abattoirs moving out of the ocean have also stopped shark attacks.
The hotspot for attacks in Western Australia is in Esperance in the state’s south (pictured)
Zachary Robba (pictured), 23, had been enjoying working at his ‘dream job’ on the southern Barrier Reef with a group of rangers when he was fatally attacked by a shark in April
The hotspot for attacks in Western Australia is in Esperance in the state’s south.
There have been three fatalities in the last three years including diver Gary Johnson, 57, who was killed by a great white shark while diving with his wife in January this year.
In Queensland the Whitsundays are the most populous for attacks, as evident in April when 23-year-old wildlife ranger Zachary Robba was mauled to death.
Tiger sharks are more likely in Queensland waters as they will attack in warmer waters.
Historically Port Phillip Bay in Victoria was the state’s worst spot, but there has not been a fatality in the state since 1956.
Tasmania has not had a fatal attack since 2015, and the Northern Territory has not had a fatal attack since 1937.
South Australia has also not had a fatality since 2014.
A great white shark is seen in waters around Neptune Island in South Australia (pictured) with cold waters drawing them closer to shore