Pilot spots school of sharks at Brooms Head
SOUTHGATE pilot Peter Ostenfeld has shared photos of what he believes is a school of sharks swimming alongside a pod of dolphins at Brooms Head.
Mr Ostenfeld was flying his plane along the Clarence Coast on Saturday morning when he spotted the bizarre grouping, and said while the pictures might not do it justice, from where he was it was clear the smaller animals were sharks.
"It is sort of difficult to see in the photos because at different angles you get a reflection off the surface, but when you're up there it's pretty obvious," he said.
"They were not particularly big, maybe in the 2m range, but they were swimming about 10-20m away from the dolphins at all times," he said.
"From the air you can tell very simply a dolphin from a shark because their tail fins are vertical, and taper off to nothing."
Mr Ostenfeld said he went back twice to look at the spectacle, the second time bringing his wife Anita up to capture it on camera.
He said that while there were some large schools of bait just south of Yamba and scattered down the coast, he couldn't say for certain what was happening south of Brooms Head.
"I suspect they were feeding because there was something going on," he said.
"When I first spotted them they were about 2-3km south of Brooms, and there was no one in the water within a few kilometres, but they were headed north pretty purposefully.
"There were several surfers about 3km north of Brooms Head so I was worried about them coming close to those surfers, but once I came back... they had only tracked a mile or two north.
"The sharks were hanging out seawards of the dolphins and weren't intermingling. They were keeping their separation there."
Mr Ostenfeld said he had seen some extremely large sharks while flying over the coast in recent months.
"Most weekends I fly from Southgate, and usually go downriver to Yamba and then go as far as Brooms or Sandon," he said.
"When you're flying you can sort of gauge the size of things from surfboards and people on the beach."
What do you think? Are they sharks or fish? Tell us in the comment section below.