It’s bad enough Melburnians couldn’t take to their meagre beaches without running the risk of violently shitting themselves for days afterwards. But as it turns out, Victorian waters are proving to be the summer destination-of-choice for sharks, with a spate of sightings over recent days ranking well above the usual average levels.
After two of the city’s busiest beaches were closed on Sunday due to shark sightings, 20 confirmed shark sightings were recorded in waters around Victoria on Monday.
That number is highly unusual for this part of the country, and particularly for this part of the year. Experts believe recent wind and current conditions, coupled with the after-effects of wild weather in the state, could be to blame.
Or, as Life Saving Victoria‘s operations manager Greg Scott put it:
“I’d say it’s sharkier than normal.”
In the Port Phillip Bay area the sightings have mostly been bronze whalers, who tend to school together in the warmer months to breed or eat. Current conditions and nutrient runoff from storms are speculated to be the cause of a larger-than-usual number of bait fish congregating closer to the shorelines, which in turn would explain the reason for the sharks to drift closer to beaches.
Fisheries Victoria rep Travis Dowling urged Victorians not to fear the sharks, but rather respect them. After all, you’re pretty much peeing through your boardshorts in their lounge room.
“We really do encourage Victorians to respect sharks. They’re an apex predator, look after them in the natural environment and steer clear when they’re about.”
Photo: Dave J Hogan/Getty.