Shark numbers not linked to closed waters: pro fisherman

"THE sharks have always been there," according to retired professional fisherman Val Hayward.

The 70-year-old has been fishing the waters of Yeppoon his "whole life" but said the recently closed fishing waters were not likely to have contributed to the attack on a 31-year-old man off Miall Island on the weekend.

He said while changes in fishing laws dealt his business a harsh blow, forcing him to shut-up shop late last year, shark numbers were not about to fluctuate.

"We had a booming business, a bloody ripper business, but once something is shut down it will never open (again)," he said.

"I couldn't see (an increase in shark numbers) because it's only been shut for a month."

He said fishing trawlers, which were not affected by the amended fishing laws and still allowed to fish the waters off Yeppoon, were responsible for attracting sharks with bait thrown overboard.

"There are that many sharks behind trawlers you could almost walk on them," he said.

"It's still going ahead right off Main Beach, they are still allowed right along the whole coast line."

Mr Hayward said he caught hundreds of kilograms of fish fillets daily when his business was operating and up to 15 small sharks daily under his licence. "There are plenty of sharks," he said.

 

Shark attack

ALLAN Countryman, 31, is still being treated in Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.

Mr Countryman was spearfishing near Miall Island about 11.30am Saturday when he was attacked by a shark two to three metres in length.



YEEHA! All you should know for Gympie Muster Friday 2019

premium_icon YEEHA! All you should know for Gympie Muster Friday 2019

It's Funky Shirt Friday as 20,000+ ready for big weekend.

MEGA GALLERY: 103 photos from the Gympie Muster so far

premium_icon MEGA GALLERY: 103 photos from the Gympie Muster so far

Stay tuned to The Gympie Times as we bring you all the Day 2 action.

Gympie man's close encounter in the middle of the night

premium_icon Gympie man's close encounter in the middle of the night

Adorable visitor climbs on to high set veranda, scratches on door