It seems like more sharks are swimming close to land. Experts say that the number of sharks spotted at South Australian beaches is low and on par with previous years.
But the use of social media by police and surf lifesavers to consistently update the public on both confirmed and unconfirmed shark sightings has created more awareness and, in some cases, greater fear, so says Surf Life Saving SA president Shane Daw to Adelaide Now.
Community information is creating a lot more awareness, according to Daw. In some instances that’s good (while) other people are probably becoming more fearful. “We’ve actually had a look and say it’s pretty much on par with every other year,” Mr Daw said. “It’s just Twitter and Facebook weren’t posting all their things previously.”
The latest unconfirmed shark sighting was reported at the southern end of Maslin Beach about 8.30am yesterday – when a person spotted movement about 500m off the shore. It came after Moana and Christies beaches were evacuated and closed on New Year’s Eve after a 2.5m shark was spotted 100m from the shore. Other shark sightings that have been confirmed by police include another at Moana Beach on January 2 and at Kangaroo Island’s Island Beach on January 4.
Shark attacks in South Australia are very rare and officials are more concerned about the hundreds of drownings in Australia each year.