Science

Albany shark sightings

SUSAN MANWARING

April 17, 2014

A great white shark had been detected numerous times in the waters off Albany before the recent death of a humpback whale brought it closer to shore.

City of Albany communications manager Keir Tunbridge said: “The shark has been around for long before that whale was around.”

The 5m shark was drawn into Ellen Cove on the weekend when a baby humpback whale beached itself and later died of natural causes.

Beacons were set off nine times on Saturday morning, prompting the council to close the beach.

According to the The Department of Fisheries website, the shark was detected over a period between 3.55am to 7.22am.

Middleton beach was also closed on Monday, April 7 after the Fisheries Department detected the shark six times in just over an hour.

Mr Tunbridge said the decision to close the beach was based on how often the shark was detected during a short period of time.

“City of Albany Rangers will assess the situation,” he said. “If it sets off the beacon 20 times within an hour then that’s the situation where the public safety is possibly an issue.

“But if it’s just once in eight hours before that doesn’t mean the beach will be closed.”

The beacons are a part of the State Government’s Shark Monitoring Network which collects long-term data on the movements of great white sharks.

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