Metre-high dorsal fin a warning to all

IT has to be scary when you sight a metre-high dorsal fin of a shark.

That's what has been reported amongst a number of shark sightings along the Angourie coastline lately with conditions just right for our most feared sea creature.

John Webber Jnr, of Angourie, has been surfing the local waves since 1975 and said he averages a shark sighting roughly every eight years.

Looks like those eight years have just about come around.

“I was surfing at Angourie Point with about 20 others last Thursday, at first I thought it was a school of mullet, but with a closer look I realised it was a shark, about three metres long,” Mr Webber said.

Thinking that 'there must be safety in numbers', he remained to surf in the murky waters.

Matt Jones had other ideas while surfing Angourie Point this week.

The professional surfer thought he would play it safe. He has since headed up to the Quicksilver Pro to qualify for the event that starts today.

“I didn't see the shark, but if someone says there's one out there, I'm going to take their word for it,” Mr Jones said.

Fandango Surf Co owner Grant Dwyer said he, too, took the safe option after a two and a half metre shark revealed itself on the face of an unbroken wave at Spooky Point last week.

Amid all the shark hype, one fact remains and that is that the ocean is full of sharks.

John Garven has been fishing in our local waters all his life.

“If people knew what was out there, they'd be horrified,” he said of the number of sharks he sees at night along our coastline.

He said people were more prone to disregard common sense these days, swimming at dawn and dusk and surfing in remote spots.

“I'm surprised more people don't get eaten,” Mr Garven said.

He said shark populations vary seasonally and this was the time of year when there were more about. This year there had been no more than normal.

Any serious angler or surfer knows to avoid going out in murky water near river mouths after heavy rains push out schools of fish from the river.

Local knowledge counts. And the saying goes: 'If you want to surf in dirty water, you're asking for trouble'.



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