Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Climate change could draw sharks further south

Climate change could draw sharks further south
December 20, 2006

CLIMATE change could cause those sharks that pose the highest risk to humans
- including the great white, the bull and the tiger - to travel further
south and feed more voraciously.

Terry Walker, of the Department of Primary Industries, said species from
tropical waters in northern Australia could travel further south, and warmer
waters could attract more great whites.

"The implication is, when waters are warmer they tend to feed more
voraciously or are more active," Dr Walker said. "I don't think the
temperature of the water has changed enough for that to have happened yet."

Mr Walker, who is based in Queenscliff, said the shark that attacked a
surfer on Monday was probably a broad nose sevengill.

According to Taronga Zoo's Australian shark attack records, the last
Victorian fatality was in 1977, on the Mornington Peninsula. In 1992, Mark
Jepson survived an attack at Point Lonsdale.

There are 34 recorded Victorian attacks, in which seven people died.
Nationwide, there have been 191 fatalities and 668 attacks since 1791.

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