Rainbow beach shark hotspot
RAINBOW Beach is fast becoming the state’s shark hotspot with 42 sharks hauled in by Queensland Fisheries contractors from Rainbow Beach nets and drum lines since July last year.
Rainbow’s main beach is second only to Tannum Sands, near Gladstone (53), in the number of sharks caught and 10 times higher than Sunshine Coast beaches Sunrise, Marcoola and Maroochydore.
All have registered only four sharks caught.
Rainbow’s closest netted beach neighbour, Noosa, had 14 sharks caught in the same period.
Last September, contractors caught a four -metre tiger shark and a 3.1-metre great white shark in the nets that front Rainbow.
Queensland Shark Control Program manager Tony Ham said the amount of pelagic fish present off the Cooloola Coast was one of the main reasons for the large amount of sharks caught in the area.
He said sharks liked to follow their food source and our good fisheries meant they would always be around.
But he reassured swimmers the patrolled beach at Rainbow was a safe place to swim.
“It is well protected with three nets and 12 drum lines,” he said.
He asked swimmers to use their common sense and not swim at dusk, dawn or in overcast conditions.
“This is their main feeding times,” Mr Ham said. “If people see a shark they should exit the water – they are unpredictable – and not swim when large schools of fish are present.”
Mr Ham said the Sandy Straits and the Tin Can Bay inlet were home to a large number of tiger and bull sharks and urged swimmers to be cautious swimming in those waters.
He also said people shouldn’t swim in the channel between Inskip Point and Fraser Island which was a “highway for sharks”.
“It is not a safe place to swim. Sharks from as far away as Hervey Bay use it as their main route to the ocean,” he said.
People should never swim alone, with dogs or while bleeding and should never swim near shark control devices.