Great Lakes beach users have been warned to be wary of sharks

Great Lakes photographer Shane Chalker's image of a giant school of bait fish at the entrance to Wallis Lake was featured in the national media last week.

Great Lakes photographer Shane Chalker's image of a giant school of bait fish at the entrance to Wallis Lake was featured in the national media last week.

Beach-goers are advised to be vigilant as a spate of shark sightings in the Great Lakes continues.

Number One Beach in Seal Rocks was cleared after two unidentified sharks were located on September 30.

Forster’s Burgess Beach and One Mile Beach were also cleared following other reported sightings.

Sharks were also sighted at Seven Mile Beach, Boomerang Beach, Bennett’s Beach, Dark Point North and Number Two Beach across the weekend.

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With the Weekend of Surf taking place on Forster Main Beach, Forster Surf Live Saving Club president John Quinn said competitor safety was paramount. 

“We had discussed with the Department of Primary Industries prior to the event the large school of bait fish that had been in the area and were advised that they had dissipated and gone further out to sea and the feeding by seabirds had decreased.

“The DPI shark helicopter did a couple of flyovers each day during the weekend – if they saw any sharks in proximity they were to set their siren off to alert us plus (they had) normal radio contact.

“We had three inflatable rescue boats on the water at all times plus another one patrolling the course perimeter at various times. Naturally we had a patrol on during the carnival plus the many lifesavers on the beach, providing water safety and keeping a lookout,” Mr Quinn said. 

The DPI has also detected sharks feeding on bait balls in recent weeks.

Already a well-renowned photographer, Shane Chalker’s image of a giant school of bait fish at the entrance to Wallis Lake was featured in the national media last week. Although Shane has lived by the ocean his entire life he says he has never seen anything like it.

“It's pretty special. To see them in those sort of numbers is pretty extraordinary."

He is keen to point out that it’s not just sharks being attracted by the bait fish, but an array of bird and marine life.

"The thing about pilchards is they are pretty much on the bottom of the food chain.  

“They are attracting an incredible amount of bird and marine life which are feeding off them. There have been increased shark sightings and I've seen lots more whales and dolphins."

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