But why Byron, and why now? “White sharks use certain depth contours of the continental shelf as a migratory corridor along the east coast of Australia,” says large shark research scientist, Doctor Jonathon Werry of the Gold Coast based Ocean and Research Centre. “Beaches that are closer to this corridor are more likely to have white sharks visit them. For example; Ballina.
At first glance, the approach seemed archaic; oversized hooks baited with whale blubber were thrown off the starboard side with hopes of catching “any great white, bull or tiger shark longer than three meters” in a bid to reduce the risk of further attacks. The net result? 64 tigers and four short-fin makos were either killed upon catch or died while caught on baited hooks.
And the long held theory that it’s classification as a protected species has allowed numbers of whites to escalate to plague proportions? “There is more evidence to suggest we have declines in large shark populations in general, rather than an increase,” says Dr Werry. “White sharks are a rare species though.
Read more here: Tracks Mag