Fourth shark sighted off Bunbury beach

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times

Another shark has reportedly been sighted off the coast of Bunbury this week, the fourth in a fortnight.

Surf Life Saving WA confirmed the public report on its Twitter account about 8.30 last night.

An unknown species was reportedly spotted 100m offshore at Bunbury Back Beach about 6.30pm.

Beach-goers have been encouraged to continue reporting shark sightings in Bunbury after several reports were made last week.

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A shark was reportedly seen close to the Bunbury shoreline with three sightings reported in a 24-hour period.

The three separate sightings were uploaded to the State Government’s Shark Smart website between midday on January 2 and about the same time on the following day.

A Department of Fisheries spokesman said the website was a valuable tool for the public to report shark sightings, but it did not mean they would be confirmed.

The spokesman said sightings were reported to shark response units and “local level” authorities and it was up to them to make decisions about whether further action needed to be taken.

“The idea of Shark Smart is people know the report’s being made and they can make a decision about where they swim,” he said.

The first report was made about 12.30pm last Monday, when an unknown species was sighted about 50m off-shore near the lighthouse at Clifton Beach.

An unknown species was reportedly seen about 11.15am, 3m off shore and just over an hour later a 2m shark was seen about 10m off shore near Bunbury’s BP Beach.

The spokesman and Bunbury City Council community safety and emergency management team leader Chris Widmer said sightings should also be reported to the Water Police.

Mr Widmer said the council had a risk-based decision-making process it followed in the event of a confirmed shark sighting and there had been only two beach closures in the past 18 months in Bunbury.

“Where and when this sighting is made influences the response, which can include the closure of the beach,” he said.

“It is important to note that the city’s area of responsibility ends at the shore and we are not shark behaviour experts.”

“The city process recognises international best practice and has been endorsed by council.”

To check out the Shark Smart website, click here.

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