Shelly Beach in Ballina was closed after a Japanese national died in a shark attack.
Shelly Beach in Ballina was closed after a Japanese national died in a shark attack. Marc Stapelberg

Mate travels to Ballina to pay respects to shark victim

AN old friend of shark attack victim Tadashi Nakahara has shared his grief about the tragic death of the Japanese expat.

Gold coast resident Neil Fitzgerald drove to Ballina this morning to pay his respects to his friend who he met while surfing in the 1990s.

Mr Nakahara had lived on the Gold Coast for more than 15 years before he moved to Ballina, working in a "dream job" with surfboard company Brothers Nielsen.

Mr Fitzgerald, clearly devastated by the tragedy, said he Mr Nakahara was a beautiful human being and a "genuine Australian".

Beaches remain closed this morning and are expectedly to remain so for the rest of the day

Earlier LE-BA Board Riders club president Don Munro addressed combined media about the shock to the surfing community and what should be done about an obvious increase in shark activity along the North Coast.