DOC warns large great white shark seen in upper Waitemata

Press Release – Department of Conservation

DOC Media Release

Wednesday December 31, 2014

DOC warns large great white shark seen in upper Waitemata Harbour

Department of Conservation(DOC) marine scientist Clinton Duffy says a shark seen in shallow water in the upper Waitemata Harbour, in west Auckland, is a large great white shark.

The great white was seen by a family fishing from a six metre boat in area of the harbour near Te Atatu on Monday (December 29).

They sighted the shark after hooking it on a fishing line and it broke free after leaping out of the water a couple of times.

The family contacted DOC about the shark. There have been no further sightings of this great white reported to DOC.

It’s estimated the great white is about four to four-half metres long.

“This is a large great white and most likely came into this area of the Waitemata to feed,” says Clinton Duffy.

“This is an infrequent, but not unusual occurrence, especially at this time of year.”

“It’s not an area where people usually swim and we advise people that they should not swim there.”

“We advice people who are fishing, kayaking, or kite surfing in this area of the Waitemata to keep an eye out for this great white, to take special care and keep themselves safe.”

“The shark will be swimming on the edges of deep channels in the harbour but will come into shallow water near the shore if it thinks there’s something to eat.”

“People should avoid doing things to attract the shark like dumping dead fish and old bait in the water.”

“Anyone fishing from a boat in the area should not attach a burley bag to their anchor chain,” says Clinton Duffy.

If anyone sees this great white shark they should keep themselves safe and call the DOC hotline 0800 362 468.

Great white sharks are listed as a threatened species worldwide. They are fully protected in New Zealand waters under the Fisheries Act 1996 and the Wildlife Act 1953.

It is illegal to deliberately catch, or harm a great white in anyway, in New Zealand waters.

Anyone attempting to catch, or harm a great white in New Zealand waters, faces a fine of up to $250,000 and up to six months in prison

ENDS

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