Are sharks coming closer to shore because their normal food is scarce?
Larger sharks tend to be very mobile and can travel large distances in search of prey. As there are no obstacles to them coming close to shore, there is always a small chance that people may encounter sharks.
The Shark Monitoring Network (SMN) was implemented to collect information about white shark movements off our coast. The entire project was funded by the Western Australian Government, and including the pilot phase extended over seven years, at a cost $3 million dollars.
The results, released in April 2016, show that white sharks can exhibit rapid, extensive movements around the Western Australian coast with some seasonality in their abundance off the metropolitan coast. As their movements are mostly uncoordinated, this limits general predictions of when human encounters with this species could be likely.
For further information view Fisheries Research Report No. 273, 2016.
Helpful Q&A’s on the report summarise some of the key findings.