I wouldn't swim in canal, expert warns after shark sighting

UPDATE: THE sight of seven bull sharks in the canals at Twin Waters may have stirred up some excitement, but a Sunshine Coast University marine scientist says they're always there.

Councillor Jason O'Pray yesterday posted video of sharks in the canals, saying he spotted a pack of them swimming together.

Associate Professor in marine ecology David Schoeman said bull sharks were known for swimming in canals and estuaries.

"In Africa they call them Zambezi sharks because they have been found several hundred kilometres up the Zambezi river," he said.

They were also known for heading in for shallow waters during their breeding season - which was underway now.

*** WARNING WARNING WARNING ***Do NOT swim in the Twin Waters canals. Here is why.... Press PLAY

Posted by Jason OPray on Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Prof Schoeman said bull sharks were known for being able to easily tolerate the less salty waters found in rivers and canals.

"Most other sharks will avoid low-salt water, they will steer clear of it, but bull sharks have no problem with it," he said. "And bull sharks can be a bit aggressive."

It wasn't so much that a bull shark was interested in eating people as the way they investigated new things was by bumping them and biting them.

"A shark that might be inquisitive doesn't have hands so they'll give it a nudge and if you get on the sharp end of that nudge you'll end up with a hole in you," he said.

While nets and drum lines might lower the number of sharks in Sunshine Coast waters it was important to remember they were still around and bull sharks could often be found in canals.

"I personally wouldn't swim in any canals on the Sunshine Coast," he said.

INITIAL REPORT: THERE are renewed calls for people to avoid swimming in the Twin Waters Canals as fresh photos and videos of sharks emerge on social media.

Sunshine Coast Councillor Jason O'Pray posted a series of photos warning people of a pack of seven sharks swimming together.

"WARNING....WARNING. Please Do Not swim in the Twin Waters Canals. 7 sharks have been sighted in a pack. These sharks cannot get out of the system," Councillor O'Pray wrote on his Facebook page.

This is not the first time sharks have been spotted in the canal. In March, resident Mark Boyer caught a Bull shark that measured five feet.

Bull sharks, renowned as one of the most vicious shark species, give birth to their young in the upper reaches of rivers and creeks in the summer months.



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