On Monday night, Daniel Christidis, a 33 year-old medical researcher from Melbourne, died after being attacked by a shark whilst swimming and paddleboarding in Cid Harbour – a popular destination for tourists. This is the third shark attack in six weeks in this location, which has caused people to question the safety of the tourism hotspot.
Following the attack, a media statement was released by Tourism Minister Kate Jones advising people not to swim in Cid Harbour under any circumstances. She gave condolences to Christidis’ family and friends, as well as thanking the first responders and medical team for their assistance.
Local charter operators have been warning anyone who hires a boat not to swim in the harbour, in an effort to reduce risk of an attack. Fisheries Minister Mark Furner added to this, stating, “We can’t be clearer – don’t swim in Cid Harbour”.
Australia is no stranger to the danger of sharks. Statistically, the chances of being fatally attacked by a shark in Australia are higher than any other country in the world, with an average of 11.7 shark attacks taking place each year and 43 fatalities from 1990-2017. Since 1990, Western Australia has the highest amount of fatalities due to sharks at 18, but New South Wales recorded the most attacks (including fatal and non-fatal) at 128.
There is ongoing debate on how to reduce these attacks moving forward. Following the initial two attacks in Cid Habour, six sharks were culled in an effort to reduce the risk of further attacks. However, Brisbane based Marine Biologist, Blake Chapman, has said, “We really need to be smarter than what we have been and actually learn from these things as opposed to just going out and killing animals.” He has proposed factors such as increased rainfall and water temperature as being responsible for the increase of sharks in the area.
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