"There is definitely no shortage of Great Whites."
A foil-boarder has been hit by a shark at the site of last weekend’s Tweed Heads Pro, the animal leaving behind a tooth in the foil’s resilient carbon fibres.
If you remember, competitors in the event which was held at a B-grade point called Cabarita half-an-hour south of the Superbank where a surfer was killed by a Great White less than two weeks ago, were cleared when an eight-foot shark swam through the contest area.
Photos and video of the foil-boarder flew around Instagram, the man, a local surfer Christian, surrounded by onlookers as he describes the event.
Dorsal Watch reported a fifteen-to-eighteen-foot Great White, as big as they get, “a tank”, swimming through the lineup around the same time.
At Broken Head, same day, a twelve-foot Great White swam through a crowd of fifty surfers, bumping one surfer on its way through.
At Kirra, a few hundred metres down the beach from the Superbank, surfers were cleared when a shark swam though the lineup.
Joel Merchant, thirty-nine and from Tweed Heads, says he’s been fishing for twenty years off the same stretch of coast where there’s been two fatal hits on surfers in the past two months, Rob Pedretti at Kingscliff, Nick Slater at the Superbank.
“People say they are hungry due to overfishing but you never seen a skinny one, they are all healthy and there is plenty of food for them, they have been left alone and bred up so well and thriving. The chance of interacting with a shark is more and more because there is so many of them.”
Commercial fisherman, Adrian Cottee, who is based in Yamba two-and-a-half hours south of the Gold Coast, said he he had to “leave the Tweed area two years ago because the sharks were eating the net and everything would fall out. There’s certainly big numbers of sharks out there.”