January 18, 2022

The Werribee News is the local newspaper of Werribee, Victoria state. We publish weekly and has a circulation of five thousand's website visits per week.

Shark Sighting at Werribee South

Shark Sighting Werribee South

There has been unconfirmed reports of a shark sighted at the Werribee South at 12.54pm today.

The sighting has been noted on Emergency Services app.

Emergency services shark map

Port Phillip Bay is home to a variety of shark species: Gummy, Seven Gill, Port Jackson, Thresher … just to name a few

Local beachgoers are urged to be cautious although the species has not been identified.

Sharks are a natural part of a healthy marine and estuarine environment. When people enter these environments to surf, swim, fish, dive or snorkel, they are entering the shark’s natural environment.

Although the risk of a shark attack is extremely low, it is important to be aware of sharks entering the water. Shark attacks in Victoria are uncommon and there have been no fatalities in this state for 30 years.

Shark species identification

There are over 370 species of sharks worldwide, of which around 140 are found in Australian waters. Of all these species, only a handful pose a potential threat to people swimming, diving, fishing and surfing in the marine environment.

In fact, almost all of the attacks in Australian coastal waters have been attributed to just three species: great white sharks, tiger sharks, and bulldog sharks (which are not typically found in Victorian waters).

Other potentially dangerous sharks in Victoria include the Bronze Whalers.

Although the risk of being attacked by sharks is extremely low, it is important to keep the sharks in mind when they enter the water. Shark attacks are rare in Victoria and there have been no fatalities in the state for 30 years.

The last fatal shark attack in Victoria dates back to 1987 and is believed to have involved a great white shark.

Different types of sharks found in Victoria, and what makes them special.

Great white shark

Great White

While not a particularly fancy name, the great white shark got its name from being large and having a white underside. The largest of all Australian sharks, it can grow up to 6 meters in length and weigh up to 3 tons!

Great white sharks often come to mind when we think of shark attacks, thanks to the movie Jaws. While it looks scary, you are 5 times more likely to be struck by lightning than by a shark.

Tiger Shark

Tiger Shark

Tiger sharks get their name from the stripes that cover their backs; however, these stripes can be more difficult to see on adult sharks over 10 feet long.

Tiger sharks are less common in Victoria than in the northern areas of Australia; however, they are occasionally seen.

They are considered dangerous to humans as they eat anything and everything, can be found in shallower water than their larger counterparts, and generally feed at night.

Bronze whaler

Bronze-whaler-shark

Bronze whaling sharks range in colour from bronze to greyish brown with a light stripe on the sides. They sometimes also have darker fin tips.

These sharks are generally found in the coastal waters and waters of the continental shelf in southern Australia. Although not known for being aggressive, they are potentially dangerous to humans.

Grey nurse shark

Grey Nurse

Gray nurse sharks are large, slow swimming sharks that like to hang out in large sand channels and caves.

They are one of the most endangered marine fish in Australia after their numbers rapidly declined until the 1990s.

Although gray nurse sharks are large, they are generally not dangerous to humans. However, they will bite defensively if stepped on or harassed by divers who assume they are docile.

Gummy shark

Gummy Shark

Gummy sharks, also known as the flake in your local fish shop, are a smaller breed of shark that can be found all over Victoria, but especially in Port Phillip Bay.

These sharks are much smaller than their parents and are generally quite slender with a grayish colouring and white spots on their backs.

School shark

Shool Shark

School sharks are a slender, grey to bronze shark with a pale underside. The underside of the head, near their snout tip, is often translucent!

Like gummy sharks, school sharks are very important to the southern Australian commercial fishing industry, and are commonly sold to be eaten both locally and overseas.

Broadnose sevengill shark

sevengill-shark-scaled

The Seven-Gilled Shark is a spotted, spotted gray to greyish bronze shark with 7 pairs of gill slits and a short, blunt snout.

Although they move slowly, these sharks are powerful predators and can be aggressive if provoked. Interestingly, seven-gilled sharks are responsible for a number of attacks on humans in aquariums, but there have been no verified attacks on the high seas.

Port Jackson shark

Port-Jackson-shark

Port Jackson sharks are small bottom-dwelling sharks and love to hang around structures such as jetties and piers. They have brown and bronze marks, which almost look like a harness on their back.

They are not considered dangerous to humans and are often a highly sought after species to be observed by divers.

Sharks sightings spike off Victorian coast

A SHARK alert at two popular Victorian beaches on the 26th this month has sent beachgoers scrambling for the sand. 32 sharks — some “very large” and most likely great whites were spotted.

A Life Saving Victoria helicopter spotted 12 sharks west of Anglesea and up to 20 sharks near Fairhaven on the 25th as thousands of Victorians headed to the state’s beaches to brave the heat wave.

The sharks ranged between 1.5m and 3.5m in length on patrols between 10am and 6pm.

Fisheries Victoria executive director Travis Dowling urged Victorians to keep an eye on emergency warnings.

A spokeswoman said people should opt for patrolled beaches and speak to lifesavers or authorities on the ground if they had concerns about sharks.

Great White Altona Beach 2019
Picture: Ray Theuma

Sharks are not uncommon in the bay. This great white shark was spotted 7km off Altona Beach in 2009.

The shark sighting at Werribee south serves as a good example to stay vigilant when swimming in beaches and waterways.

Local Werribee fisherman said, they are keeping an eye out for the shark and would attempt to remove it depending on the species.

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