A 2.5m great white shark 20m off shore in knee deep water, Thompsons Rock, Byron Bay.
A 2.5m great white shark 20m off shore in knee deep water, Thompsons Rock, Byron Bay. Stephen Booth

PHOTO: Great white shark spotted in knee-deep water

UPDATE, 3.10pm: This photo of a 2.5m great white shark was posted to the Voices of Byron Facebook page this afternoon by Stephen Booth.

He clarified that the photo wasn't taken today, but said the shark was only 20m offshore in knee-deep water at Thompsons Rock, Byron Bay.

"ID confirmed by CSIRO," Mr Booth posted on the page.

"I find it weird that everyone doesn't know there are sh*tloads of various shark species off the Byron Shire coast every day, especially in late autumn and winter and early spring.

"Average count from Cape Byron in the mid-2000s was 15 a day.

"With the humpback whale population multiplying by more than 20 times and climate change affecting currents thus fish movements, is it any wonder there are more whites close to shore?"

 

UPDATE, 11.45am: SHARPES Beach is the third beach between Lennox Head and Ballina to be evacuated this morning after a 2.5m white shark was spotted from the air just after 11.30am.

At 10.15am, three 2-3m white sharks were spotted in the break zone within metres of surfers at Lighthouse Beach, forcing the evacuation of about six surfers in the area.

The water is now empty.

Early speculation suggests the mullet run is attracting the sharks, while there was also suggestion a whale was spotted earlier this morning close to the beach.

Ballina mayor David Wright has said he is "very concerned" about this week's spike in white shark sightings and is meeting with the Department of Primary Industries this morning over the issue.

"It looks like they're back," Cr Wright said.

"The only reason we found out there were three whites there with surfers (at Lighthouse Beach this morning) was the DPI were there in a helicopter doing their training."

"I hate to say it, but it's getting nearly 11 months since Mat (Lee) was (attacked), hopefully it is just an anomaly… I'll be pushing the DPI in an hour to see what we can do."

"We just don't want another attack."

WHITE POINTER: This 2.8m female white shark was tagged on Wednesday afternoon 200m off Evans Head. Three others of a similar size were tagged and released the day prior by the DPI.
WHITE POINTER: This 2.8m female white shark was tagged on Wednesday afternoon 200m off Evans Head. Three others of a similar size were tagged and released the day prior by the DPI. NSW DPI

Cr Wright said he believed the planned barriers for Lighthouse Beach and Lennox Head main beach were the council's "best shot" at preventing more attacks despite the controversy about the barriers among local surfers, who say they will interfere with the take-off zone and pose a safety hazard.

The Lighthouse Beach barrier is scheduled to be installed in July.

The mayor added that more aerial patrols were needed, despite the DPI already committing to patrols on weekends and school holidays.

He said everything must be done to avoid another attack.

"I am very concerned, our economy doesn't need it."

 

ORIGINAL STORY: SURFERS at Lighthouse Beach have been evacuated from the water after three white sharks were spotted just off North Wall.

Another white shark was spotted earlier at Flat Rock just after 9.20am, with a body boarder called from the water.

The sharks were spotted during aerial surveillance conducted by the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Sirens were used in both situations.

The evacuations follow another sighting this morning by a local surfer off Lennox Head Main Beach.

The Dorsal Shark Reports Facebook page reported the following: "Jane just sent through a report of a sighting this morning: "Just came in from a surf at the Beachy, south of the pub. A friend and I were looking at the ocean as we were getting dressed and saw birds, big bait ball and a fairly good sized fin amongst all the activity. We tried to alert surfers in the water, not reported".