Another surfer has been bitten on the leg by a shark near Byron Bay, on the NSW north coast, just a fortnight after a surfer suffered similar injuries on a nearby beach.
The attack happened around 7:30am Monday on the beach Suffolk Park Beach and Broken Head, just south of Byron headland.
The surfer, thought to be in his late 30s, suffered three puncture wounds to his leg. A photo of the injuries, along with teethmarks on his board, was posted on social media but has since been removed.
The man was taken to the local hospital by a friend. The shark species is unknown and the incident has been referred to the NSW Department of Primary Industries for further investigation.
All beaches in the Byron Bay area, including the patrolled Main Beach, have been closed for at least the next 24 hours.
— Surf Life Saving NSW (@slsnsw) October 23, 2016
It’s the third bite in the area in the past month. On October 12, a 25–year-old man, surfing at Sharpes Beach, further south at Ballina, was bitten on the right leg, and on September 26, a teenager was bitten on the hip at Lighthouse Beach, the town’s main surfing spot.
A Japanese surfer died in February 2015 following an attack at Shelly Beach.
The latest attack comes less than 24 hours after a hundreds of people rallied in protest against the installation of shark nets in Ballina.
The Baird government announced a six-month trial of nets earlier this month after the previous attacks and wants the first nets in place before Christmas. It previously proposed an “eco-barrier” for Ballina’s main surfing beach, but the plan was scrapped after several failed installation attempts.
White pointer sharks have been tagged and tracked as one of the shark mitigation measures, with “listening buoy” sounding the alarm when a tagged sharks swims by. The government has instead increased the number of baited shark drums in the area.
Byron Council, which opposes netting, has paid for its own shark-spotting program, and is pushing for state government support.
Environmentalists are concerned that the nets, which are like a large fishing net and don’t protect the whole beach, will ensnare and kill other species.
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