Sharks in Fingal Bay feeding on schools of fish close popular Port Stephens beach

Sharks on a fish feeding frenzy in Fingal Bay have forced lifeguards to keep a popular Port Stephens beach closed.

Fingal Beach was closed on Tuesday morning following reports of a shark sighting in the bay.

The beach was still closed on Wednesday.

Schools of fish had gathered in waters just off Fingal Beach, to the left of the surf club, which attracted an unknown number of sharks. 

Tony Carrozzi, a regular visitor to Fingal Bay at this time of year, snapped photos of the sharks feeding on mullet jumping out of the water about 3pm on Tuesday.

“The mullet were there all day, and so were the sharks,” Mr Carrozzi, from Sydney, said.

“Late afternoon they [sharks] got really close to the beach.

“I don’t know how many there were but at times you could see them swimming in pairs.”

Mr Carrozzi said that in the years he had been visiting Port Stephens at Easter, mullet had been making an appearance in the Bay.

It was what drew him, and his children, to the beach on Tuesday – to watch the fish jump out of the water.

Tuesday’s sighting comes two weeks after a reported shark encounter at One Mile Beach.

Ambulance NSW said paramedics treated a 46-year-old man with minor cuts to his left foot and calf on April 2.

He was taken to the John Hunter Hospital in a stable condition.

The species of the shark that the man encountered is unknown. 

A jetski could be seen zooming around Fingal Bay throughout Tuesday.

Port Stephens lifeguard supervisor Phil Rock said this was protocol.

“If a shark is spotted we launch a jetski to do a search of the area to determine if it is safe to open the beach,” he said.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries’ helicopter that patrols the coastline, searching for sharks that may pose a risk to swimmers, was due to fly over Fingal Bay about 11am on Wednesday.

Mr Rock said authorities would contact lifeguards after the flyover and consult with them about reopening the beach.

A flyover of the Briubi Point to Crowdy Head coastline will be carried out once a day, every day of the school holidays until April 25, 2017, weather permitting.

This story Sharks on a feeding frenzy in Fingal Bay | photos first appeared on Port Stephens Examiner.


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