Home' Scoop : Scoop 50 Summer 2009 Contents year, usually following the large schools of baitfish (their natural prey),” says
Occasionally white sharks and tiger sharks will also feed on dead whales,
bringing them closer to shore.
Shark sightings make headlines regularly during the summer, but with
more people in the water, the chances of someone spying a shark naturally
increase. And in the age of instant communication, says John, the sightings of
sharks – harmless or dangerous – often attract “man eater” headlines.
“These media reports can lead people to think that there may be more sharks
than in previous years,” says John, who also stresses that just because there are
sharks near people in the water, it does not mean there will be an attack.
Sharks are apex predators, meaning they are on top of the food chain. They
are an important indicator of a balanced and healthy aquatic environment and
have a huge impact on other marine organisms either directly or indirectly.
Without them, the whole marine ecosystem could collapse. While some
DANGER ZONE: Experts say
people should avoid swimming at
dusk or dawn when some species
of shark move closer into shore
to feed. Left: Surf Life Saving WA
operations manager Chris Peck.
Right: Taronga Zoo shark expert
Dr John West says the risk of being
taken by a shark is “miniscule”.
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