Monday, November 03, 2008

27-Strong Concentration of Juvenile Great Whites Discovered Near Port Stephens

Thanks to Shark Divers for bringing our attention to this article.

What could be the world's largest concentration of juvenile great white sharks has been discovered swimming within metres of the sand on the state's Mid-North Coast.

Twenty-seven great white sharks were spotted in one day by a boat team videoing for a fishing DVD last week near Port Stephens.

Over three days Al McGlashan and his Strikezone video crew found an average of 16 great whites a day - all between 2m and 3m long.

"I've never heard of anywhere near this many in one area," Mr McGlashan, who keeps in contact with fisheries scientists and CSIRO great white experts, said yesterday. "It's amazing. They are just babies or young sharks."

It is understood Department of Primary Industries shark research division is investigating why the sharks have congregated at the spot. They were found from within metres of the long beaches in the area to several kilometres offshore.

Great whites are about 1.5m long at birth so many of the sharks spotted near Port Stephens are extremely young - despite already being athletic hunters.

Mr McGlashan used fish on a length of line to tease the first shark they found into coming closer to his boat and he and his crew watched in awe as it exploded from the water chasing the bait.

"The encounter proved to be not a one-off but a concentration of juveniles that could well be the highest concentrations of these apex predators in the world," he said. "They showed no fear of the boat, instead they seemed very inquisitive."

Swimmers might take solace in the fact juvenile great whites are fish eaters. What has puzzled Mr McGlashan is why they are there.

"The bizarre thing is there is no food there at the moment - we saw few or no salmon which they love eating," he said.

CSIRO research has found an adult great white migration from South Australia up the east coast to Queensland.


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1 comment:

Shark Diver said...

Thanks guys this find is pretty epic and goes a long way for science. Kudo's to the guys who found it.