15 November 2018

Measures to Prevent More Shark Attacks in Australian Harbours

Shark attacks at Australian harbours

Why are there Sharks in the Harbours?

Temporary signs are to be in place by this weekend at the scenic Whitsundays Harbour spot, where 3 shark attacks, including one fatal mauling, have occurred in recent months. Permanent signs will follow within a few weeks. It is believed that sharks may be attracted to the area because food scraps are regularly disposed of there, making it a great spot for sharks to stick around if they are looking for a meal, and possibly forming an association between humans and food. This correlation between a food source, whether human food scraps or discharge from slaughterhouse plants, has been shown globally to increase the prevalence of sharks and the likelihood of attack.

Latest tragedy is the third attack in so many months

This follows a fatal attack on Dr. Daniel Christidis on Monday. Dr Christidis was a young research fellow working in the urology department at Austin Health in Melbourne. He was in the Whitsundays with other doctors on a five-day cruise when the attack occurred. He had been on a stand-up paddleboard with a female friend when he decided to enter the water for a swim. Not long after entering water, the shark attacked leaving him with severe injuries to both legs and his wrist, leading to severe blood loss and cardiac arrest. Two attempts at resuscitation allowed Dr. Christidis to reach Mackay Base Hospital by helicopter, where he was later confirmed dead.

Two previous attacks

In September, two shark attacks took place in the same location within the space of 24 hours. The first victim was Tasmanian woman Justine Barwick, who was in the area with family for an annual trip. She suffered severe injuries and, after fighting for her life in hospital, was able to return home to recover further.  12-year-old Melbourne girl, Hannah Papps, was the second victim. She lost her leg to the attack.

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Michelle Leech

Michelle Leech

Michelle is an experienced writer with published work in newspapers, magazines, on websites and for businesses. She holds a Diploma in Book Editing, Proofreading and Publishing and is currently in her third year of a Bachelor of Science. She also runs a freelance copywriting, editing and photography business ( https://www.facebook.com/paperbarkdiaries/ ) with a special interest in science, environment and travel. She loves travel, wildlife and being outdoors.

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