Shark warning as salmon make way to SW coastlines

Headshot of Michael Philipps
Michael PhilippsSouth Western Times

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is urging beachgoers to take care ahead of the annual salmon run.

Schools of salmon are commonly spotted along the coast from early March to late April.

While the annual event is keenly anticipated by recreational fishers, the schools of fish can also attract big predators.

Department director of Aquatic Resources Management, Nathan Harrison, said big schools of salmon had been seen off the southern and South West coastlines in recent years.

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“Before the salmon run gets into full swing along our coast, it’s timely to remind everyone that schools of WA salmon attract a wide range of shark species that may also come inshore to feed on the salmon,” he said.

“For this reason water users should keep away from large schools of salmon.

“Swimmers and surfers are also encouraged to stay aware of their surroundings at all times.

“It’s important people keep away from large schools of fish, seals or wildlife acting erratically – and to take a buddy if going swimming, diving or surfing.”

A caught salmon.
Camera IconA caught salmon. Credit: Supplied

Mr Harrison said fishers should be aware of their surroundings when fishing for salmon.

“Fishers should also be aware that it’s safer to fish for salmon from the beach, rather than coastal rocks.

“However, if fishers do decide to fish from rock ledges and coastal outcrops they should be aware that unpredictable wave patterns can make rocks slippery.

Great White Shark
Camera IconGreat White Shark Credit: Getty Images / iStockphoto

“Therefore, they need to take additional precautions, including using life jackets and adhering to local warnings.”

Fishers are encouraged to ‘bleed’ their catch away from the water’s edge and dispose of all fish waste responsibly to ensure beach areas are kept clean and avoid attracting larger marine predators such as sharks, seals and dolphins.

Water users are urged to check SharkSmart’s shark activity map or Surf Life Saving WA’s Twitter, before going into the water.

Report any shark sightings to Water Police on 9442 8600.

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