Great white shark caught at Bondi Beach

This morning a Great White Shark was unfortunately caught in the shark nets at Bondi Beach (SMH article includes a quote from me).

I say unfortunately, because it’s extremely sad that a magnificent creature like this has had its life ended by human intervention, just so we can feel safer in the ocean.

The reality is that sharks are always in and around the Eastern Suburbs, including inside the bay at Bondi, it’s just that we don’t see them. It makes sense that more sharks are sighted when more people are looking for them. When they get caught in a shark net, it just makes it even more visual.

I’m sad that the media will jump on this story and it will be sensationalized. I can imagine the front page of at least one paper tomorrow having the jaws of a Great White Shark taking up the whole page – it’s been done before.

It might sell newspapers but it’s not in anyone else’s best interests.

Do we need to be concerned? No. If you chose to enter the ocean then you are entering the sharks natural environment, you have to play by their rules.

The reality is we’re not on the menu, we’re in the way.

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At a time when drowning deaths in Australia are on the up, there is much more to be concerned about at the beach other than sharks… like rip currents, and a general lack of swimming ability and ocean awareness by the general public.

This morning I took the 7.15am VITALITY ocean fitness session. My session plan included a swim out into the bay to the same level as the shark nets.

One of the participants asked me why I had got them to swim out so far.

My response? It was so they could become more confident in the deep water environment, and to help them reduce their deep water anxiety.

When I first read that a shark had been pulled from the nets this morning it only made me feel better that I had taught that particular lesson this morning.

Today’s shark story will be told. There will be some short term impact on people using the ocean, but at the end of the day the rational ocean swimmers will be back and things will return to normal.

If you’d like to learn more about the ocean environment, and ask the number one question I get in every clinic “what about sharks?” then sign up for an Ocean Confidence course or register for Ocean Swimming Level 1.

This weekends scheduled ocean swims in the Eastern Suburbs will continue as normal:

Bondi Splash n’ Dash, Saturday 22 Nov

Coogee Island Challenge, Sunday 23 Nov

UPDATE: A second Great White Shark is caught in the nets at Bondi, just two days after the first one this week.

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