Two words that cause a stress attack

SHARK attack.

Those two words can strike fear in the hearts of most beachgoers.

Yesterday the search for the body of marine biologist Jarrod Stehbens, 23, and the shark believed to have killed him, off the South Australian coast was called off.

Last Sunday two fishermen reported seeing sharks circling them before being rescued near Heron Island. But the Capricorn Coast however, has a strong safety track record when it comes to sharks.

Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F) Shark Safety manager Baden Lane said last year about 100 sharks, including bull and tiger sharks, were caught off the Capricorn Coast.

"This obviously reduces the number of sharks and in turn the likelihood of attacks,'' he said.

"From memory the biggest shark disposed of last year was about four metres.

"There are 54 drumlines from Farnborough Beach to Emu Park and the hooks on those get baited every second day and every weekend.

"The hooks reduce the bycatch but were also introduced on the Capricorn Coast in the 1990s because of the shallow bays.''

Mr Lane said to his knowledge there had never been a recorded fatality from a shark off the Capricorn Coast.

"There was an attack on a boy off Emu Park a few years back though,'' he said.

"Typically there are more sharks in northern Queensland in the summer months.

"With more people on the beach in summer as well.

"These days though, people are more aware.''

Yeppoon-based Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries district officer Mike Broadsmith said for the past 30 years the same person had been employed as a shark contractor.

"Around here the ones that are caught are mainly bull and tiger sharks.



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